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Climbers come together to remove graffiti in Little Cottonwood Canyon

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-12 23:46:16-04

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah -- Climbers from all over Utah took back their rocks, as nearly 100 volunteers with the Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance spent Sunday removing graffiti in areas of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Travis Herbert with Access Fund said their goal is to set a positive example.

“I think we have 80 people, volunteers, out here today to try and really make a dent in removing all this graffiti so we can try and set an example that this isn't acceptable here in the canyon," he said.

The graffiti is particularly bad, and getting worse, at an old pavilion once used by a water company to hold events.

Cathy Kahlow is the Salt Lake District Ranger with the Forest Service, and she spoke about the group's efforts.

“The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and other groups have painted over this in an effort to remove the graffiti, but it keeps coming back--so we're creating a canvas for people to paint on so our energy is now going to be focused in removing this structure," she said.

The volunteers said the graffiti and tagging is offensive, embarrassing and ironic.

“On some level, the people who have done all this graffiti like being in the forest and like being outside, and it's just like them not understanding the value of this place,” Participant Sam Elias said.

The group told FOX 13 News their day spent cleaning the canyon is time well spent to preserve the wilderness in their backyard.

“It almost feels like you're cleaning up your room, and it looks all of a sudden nicer again, and you enjoy it a little bit more,” Joe Kinder said.