On July 31, 2014, the BLM Salt Lake Field Office received a report of suspected vandalism to one or more cultural sites located in a popular target shooting area in the Lake Mountains in Utah County. A BLM investigation found that a dozen or more silhouette targets were spray painted on large rocks and rock outcroppings in close proximity to Native American rock art estimated to be several thousand years old.
In 2011, similar vandalism occurred in the same area prompting the BLM to go to great effort in removing the paint to prevent further damage to the rock art. Evidence found at the scene indicates that the painted targets are being shot at with large caliber firearms. The BLM is asking the public not to shoot at these illegal targets.
Safe target shooting includes using paper or other legal targets and a soft earth hillside as a backstop. The public is reminded that painting rocks and/or damaging cultural resources on public lands are prohibited acts. Shooting into rocks can also spark wildfires. Native American rock art sites are protected under federal law by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1976. Violators causing damage to cultural resources on federal lands can face severe penalties including fines and/or jail time.
Anyone who has information about this incident they think could be useful should contact BLM Ranger, Randy Griffin at (801)977-4314.