Juveniles charged in rock art vandalism case near St. George

ST. GEORGE, UTAH -- On Aug. 4, the Washington County Attorney's Office

charged five juveniles with third degree felonies for vandalizing a popular petroglyph site near St. George.

Two boys, ages 16 and 17, and three 15-year-old girls were charged with third degree felonies under the State of Utah's Cultural Sites Protection Act for scratching names and obscenities into the Land Hill petroglyph site in May.

The Washington County Attorney's Office in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management will also be seeking $7,500 in restitution costs.

The damage to this rock art site cannot be permanently repaired. A professional rock art conservator will be hired to "inpaint" the scratched areas, which will make the vandalism less apparent. Since it will be exposed to sunlight, wind, and rain, the inpainting will only last about five years. It will then have to be retouched.

Land Hill is part of the Santa Clara River Reserve -- a 6,500-acrearea of public land collaboratively managed by the BLM, City of Santa Clara and City of Ivins in part to protect archaeological resources of Land Hill. The area contains a high concentration of rock art, some of which is more than 5,000 years old.

BLM law enforcement officers investigating the vandalism received several valuable tips from the public after information about the vandalism ran in local and statewide media.

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