May 27, 2002 - Ely Daily News: RPCV Anne Carter fights to protect Rock Art

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 1:32 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Anne Carter fights to protect Rock Art

Read and comment on this story from the Ely Daily News on RPCV Anne Carter who helps the Bureau of Land Management prevent further vandalism of protected rock art sites in Lincoln County at:

BLM, private group, hope to protect ancient rock art *

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BLM, private group, hope to protect ancient rock art


Three Las Vegas residents could prove key to helping the Bureau of Land Management prevent further vandalism of protected rock art sites in Lincoln County.

Retired reinsurance broker Anne Carter, former Peace Corps volunteer Susan Sechrest and Dr. Barbara Stocking met Saturday in Alamo with BLM Ely Field Office Archeologist Mark Henderson for a one-day tour of a protected rock art site west of town. All three are members of the Southern Nevada Rock Art Association, or SNRAA, as well as the recently formed Nevada Rock Art Foundation. Stocking is also a member of Archeo-Nevada.

"Vandalism of protected rock art sites has not reached epidemic proportions yet, but it is increasing as more and more people utilize our public lands," explained Henderson, prior to departing for the popular archeological site west of town.

Rock art, Henderson said, is defined as any design that has been painted, scratched or tapped into or onto a natural rock surface. Virtually everyone, from teenagers to travelers, has at one time or another created a form of rock art, said Henderson. Protected rock art, however, is a different issue, he said.

"These are inscriptions located on public lands that are a minimum of 100 years old," Henderson said. "As such, they're protected under the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979."

Henderson said there are two types of vandalism--unintentional and intentional. He said an example of unintentional vandalism is the person who inadvertently damages rock art by making rubbings and such. Henderson said he or she is unaware of damage done by touching this invaluable resource.

Intentional vandalism is a different issue, said Henderson, while pointing to evidence of recent acts of wanton destruction on-site.

"In this particular case, we've had people use rock at for target practice, while others chipped it away to take it home for personal use or to sell it," said Henderson, noting a need for onsite monitoring.

"We want to start the first-ever BLM Ely District site stewardship program," Henderson said.

Henderson hopes Carter, Sechrest and Stocking will be the budding program's initial volunteers. All three have agreed to consider the possibility.

"This is authentic indigenous American art," said Sechrest, taking photographs.

"That it's still here after all this time--it has to be protected," said Carter, pointing to a vandalized section of the rock face.

"Absolutely," agreed Stocking, camera in hand. "We're looking today at an important piece of a people's history--our history." Once it's gone, it's gone forever. It can't be replaced."

To learn more about protected rock art sites in Lincoln County, or to volunteer as a site steward, contact Archeologist Mark Henderson, BLM Ely Field Office, at (775) 289-1800.

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