Utah launches ‘Pledge to Protect the Past’ campaign to stop archaeological vandalism

Mar 20, 2022, 9:39 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2022, 11:21 pm

The panel near Wolfe Ranch shows figures on horseback, which tells us these petroglyphs were create...

The panel near Wolfe Ranch shows figures on horseback, which tells us these petroglyphs were created after the mid-1600s when the native people in this area acquired horses. (National Park Service)

(National Park Service)

SALT LAKE CITY — With warmer weather on the way, and Utahns heading outdoors for Spring break, the state wants you to take a pledge to protect the past.

The new campaign hopes to put a stop to vandalism at Utah’s many historic sites.

Last summer, these historic petroglyphs were damaged in Moab. Just months after, other 2,000-year-old petroglyphs were destroyed by graffiti.

Damage to archaeological sites in Utah has risen sharply in the last few years.

Getting caught for vandalizing public lands can cost you $20,000 and even a year in prison. But it’s not just graffiti and intentional damage that’s hurting our history.

“Archaeological sites, these physical places where we can go to visit the past, are much more fragile than they look,” said Utah Gov. Spencer Cox. “With more people visiting Utah’s great outdoors than ever before, even actions that feel like a light touch can damage or even destroy a site forever.”

Cox and the Utah State Historic Preservation Office have kicked off a six-week education series to go along with the “Pledge to Protect the Past” campaign.

Click here to take the pledge.

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Utah launches ‘Pledge to Protect the Past’ campaign to stop archaeological vandalism