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Donation fund created after theft and destruction of petroglyphs

November 21, 2012 |  5:18 pm

A donation fund has been established following the theft and destruction of petroglyphs at a site north of Bishop.

At least four prominent petroglyphs were taken from the site, which is protected under the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A fifth petroglyph was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides and a sixth was removed and broken during the theft. Dozens more were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts.

Federal archeologists described the thefts as the worst act of vandalism ever at the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management field office in Bishop.

Donors should specify how they want their money used: a petroglyphs vandalism reward fund,  interpretive programs showing how the damage has affected the site, an “adopt a camera” program for surveillance of the site, or stewardship training and volunteer opportunities at the site.

Donations can be mailed to the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Assn., a nonprofit dedicated to assisting the BLM’s Bishop Field Office in educational, historical and scientific activities. Donations should be mailed to the ESIA at 190 E. Yaney St., Bishop, CA 93514.

Those interested in donating may also call the association at 760-873-2411.

The BLM and the Paiute tribe are offering $2,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for damaging the petroglyphs.

BLM Bishop Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said, “The panels that were taken are irreplaceable. Our top priority is to recover them intact.”

Anyone with information can contact Melody Stehwien at 760-937-0301, or Eric Keefer at 760-937-0657, both at the BLM Bishop Field Office.

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