A mile of canyon walls was damaged by graffiti in an Arizona national recreation area, officials said.
Rangers at Glen Canyon found and removed about 800 square feet of graffiti from sandstone canyon walls, park officials said Tuesday on Facebook.
“The canyon walls are virtually covered in graffiti from the shoreline to the boundary with the Navajo Nation – currently a distance of about a mile,” Glen Canyon officials said. “Graffiti – carving, painting, or writing on any manmade or natural feature is unsightly and illegal.”
The process to remove the graffiti is “painstaking,” park officials said. It starts with a team of archaeologists surveying the damage to make sure park officials don’t create more.
Then officials scrape and brush the walls to try to put the sandstone back into its original place.
“But we can only do so much,” park officials said. “Perhaps you could help by not doing any graffiti when you come visit.”
Several recreation sites have seen an increase in graffiti and vandalism since the coronavirus pandemic began.
At Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, a large graffiti mural was painted on the side of a concrete retaining wall, McClatchy News reported. Nearby Zion National Park in Utah has seen blue spray paint and muddy handprints splattered on sandstone walls, names carved into logs and alcoves, and canyon walls scraped up, park officials said in December.
“No one comes to the park expecting to see graffiti but nearly every day, staff find words and shapes carved, drawn, painted (with mud, dirt, pigment, paint), or scratched on rocks and more recently even carved within moss,” park officials said.
Camp Rock at City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho also saw “the worst case of vandalism in the park’s history,” according to the Idaho Statesman.
At Yellowstone, tourists’ masks have flown off their faces and into geysers. Visitors at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico have also left masks behind.
Other parks have seen excessive traffic and crowds, as well as litter, scattered throughout the parks.