Local News


Red Rock Canyon's persistent graffiti problem baffles hikers, vexes conservation groups

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 20:19:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you go out exploring the beautiful peaks and valleys of Red Rock Canyon, you probably don't expect to see those views marred by graffiti.

Despite ongoing prevention efforts by Friends of Red Rock Canyon and other organizations, vandalism continues. Cliff faces and boulders in the national conservation area are being defaced.

Graffiti often covers ancient Native American pictographs. These rock formations take thousands of years to form, but can be destroyed in just a few minutes.

This spray-painted graffiti was discovered by hikers who notified Bureau of Land Management officers late Tuesday. When these crimes happen, Friends of Red Rock Canyon, a conservation organization sends out their graffiti removal team.

Volunteers have to lug water, chemicals and tools to try and remove it.

And it's costly. One removal and restoration of panels with Native American rock art cost almost $30,000, the conservation group says.

"There's not enough resources. We need more rangers and more awareness," said Heater Fisher, president of Save Red Rock. "That's what we're trying to do: bring awareness to the issue. We just need more people on the ground — more eyes and more people reporting."

The BLM has more rangers now, Fisher added, "which is really great, but they can't be everywhere all at once."

One hiker says that in the 15 years he's been hiking Red Rock Canyon, he now sees graffiti on almost every outing.

"I don't know why people would mess up nature, when it's beautiful by itself," he said. "It's gorgeous, it's fun, and then they put this stuff down. I don't understand it."

If you see graffiti or any suspicious activity, contact BLM rangers by calling 702-293-8932 or emailing blm_nv_sndo_web_mail@blm.gov.
Friends of Red offers a reward of up to $5,000 if information leads to an arrest or conviction.