Home > Alerts, Successes, and Endangered Rock Art > Success Stories

The following histories and success stories give a flavor of some of the hard work which has been done by many volunteers over the years, and some of the rewards for their work.

Utah Looting
"Utah Looters Get Probation" A one-page summary of the current situation, p.8 in American Archaeology winter 2009-2010. Reduced sentences. For others, trials to follow.

Petroglyph Vandalism Prosecuted
[during February, 2009; thanks to Jack Sprague, chair of Conservation Committee for this item]
Last week, two men pled guilty for defacing cultural artifacts dating back more than a century on federal land. Each face $1,100 in fines and $2,625 in restitution to repair the damages. Sergio Corona-Venzor, 41, of Montrose and Oscar Ortega, 41, of Delta carved their names and the date on an Anasazi rock art panel. The petroglyph, known as the Roc Creek Rock Art Panel, is located on BLM land south of Gateway.
- Grand Junction Free Press [presumably Colorado?]

Settlement Against G. Johnson
This was seen as a wake up call to developers:  Developers don't get to ignore the rules that protect Arizona's 
resources and heritage.  That should be the bottom-line message from a $12 million state settlement with developer George H. Johnson, several of his companies and three contractors. The Wild West, no-holds-barred, rip-out-the-vegetation, throw-up-the-houses style of development has no place in modern Arizona.


Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

A history of advocacy, successes and continuing challenges needs to be written. Here are some recent news items.


Hueco Tanks, El Paso, Texas

Public Use Changes Took Effect in 1998 at Hueco Tanks near EL PASO, Texas -- After more than nine months of staff work and public input, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) took decisive action to protect the priceless natural and cultural resources at Hueco Tanks State Historical Park by issuing a final public use plan that puts resource protection foremost, while still allowing controlled recreational use. See now AIRA vol.27 (2001) pp.151-159.

Lewis Canyon petroglyphs on the Pecos River, Texas

These  have been the object of a very long volunteer preservation program.  In 1990, the Witte Museum of San Antonio and the nascent Rock Art Foundation set out to redocument this extensive bedrock petroglyph site to update maps and drawings done in the 1930s by Forrest Kirkland and A.T. Jackson.  Noticing that some of the glyphs appeared to disappear under the sediment cover, volunteers began to clear the shallow redeposited soil while others, led by Jim Zintgraff, began photodocumentation using a vertical plane camera.  A great profusion of glyphs totally different from the abstract style documented by the early studies emerged from beneath the washed-in dirt.  The newly formed Rock Art Foundation took on management of the project for several years, resulting in the production of a report in1997 (The Lewis Canyon Petroglyphs.  Rock Art Foundation, Inc. Special Publication 2, San Antonio, Texas.)  The RAF leased the site from the landowner for a period of years and spent long weekends in the spring and fall every year, clearing away more dirt, picking up rocks and generally maintaining the area.  A single cable fence was strung along the ranch road and a stacked rock fence built adjacent to the camp site.  Vegetation removed during soil removal was replanted along the cable fence to disguise it.  A rudimentary metal shade and a portable toilet were removed from the site and replaced by a stone and tin structure up on the rise above the site.  Signs were erected advising canoers from the Pecos and visitors who came cross-country of the importance of the site.  When the RAF dropped their lease, the core of volunteers continued to monitor, maintain and document the petroglyphs.  The last report was published in Plains Anthropologist in 2005 (Location, Location, Location: The Lewis Canyon Petroglyphs.  Plains Anthropologist 50 (195):307-328.)  Lewis Canyon has been the triumph of the concerned citizens in the private sector, staffed almost entirely by volunteers, the fence, signs and structure paid for by private donation, and documented in its entirety to a degree rarely realized.  The credit goes to the devoted crew and the site supervisors.  (contributed by Solveig Turpin)


Ring Mountain Petroglyphs, California

Looking Back at Four Years of Advocacy for the Ring Mountain Petroglyphs - California (USA). In the fall of 1993, the Bay Area Rock art Research Association began an effort to insure protections for the Ring Mountain petroglyphs in Tiburon (Marin County), California. Exactly four years later, after countless hours of planning, community organizing and bureaucratic cajoling, the Ring Mountain petroglyphs enjoy a new hope for a future free from unintentional damage and vandalism. M. Leigh Marymor, 1998. (Tracce no. 10)