Current topics in archaeology, cultural heritage & historic preservation

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sacred Cave/Rock Art Vandalized Near Bend, OR

Vandalism Discovered at Arnold Cave Complex in Central Oregon-Reward Offered

April 21, 2011, during a visit to the Arnold cave complex, Forest Archaeologist Penni Borghi, Wildlife Specialist Julie York, local Grotto president Matt Skeels, and ASCO members Lisa Nicol and Susan Gray discovered extensive paint vandalism at Hidden Forest Cave.

Several different colors of spray paint graffiti covered a large stretch of the east face of the sink area, stopping just short of the drip line. Pictures do not do the damage justice (see video below)!

This cave is one of the most beautiful in the extensive lava tube systems in Central Oregon, and one of the most overused and badly treated. Past ASCO stewardship visits have reported evidence of vehicular traffic on the closed roads, illegal fire pits, damaged trees cut for firewood and shot up for whatever reason, large numbers of beer cans and bottles (many shattered against the rock faces), discarded clothing, and other types of graffiti.

If you are unsure about what activities are not permitted in the caves, you may read the Forest Service’s guidelines for cave access on their website. ( ns/cave_access_deschutes.pdf)

If you have any information that could help the investigation into the vandalism at this site, please contact Eddy Cartaya, the Forest Service law enforcement officer handling the case, at the Bend-Fort Rock Office (541-383- 4796).

(Article above reprinted with permission from the ASCO May-June 2011 Midden. Thanks to Susan Gray, Editor of the Midden for sending us this info.)

(caution...if you love rock art and/or caves this is a very disturbing video).
Oregon High Desert Grotto, a caving club based in Bend, OR, is offering a reward for information on the Hidden Forest Cave vandalism. They are also asking for donations to increase the reward fund. Click here for more info on the reward or to make a donation