Rangers investigate vandalism at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Posted at 10:47 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 12:45:56-04

ESCALANTE, Utah — Officials are working to identify individuals responsible for graffiti carved on a canyon wall at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

In the Zebra Slot Canyon, someone etched into the rock a heart with the names Kenny and Aryn. Above the names was the year 2016.

“It’s obvious they wanted to leave a loving message,” said Larry Crutchfield with the Bureau of Land Management.

Despite the intent, Crutchfield added, it is illegal and spoils the outdoor experience for everyone.

Vandalism in national parks is a growing problem, Crutchfield said.

Last year, rangers conducted more than 1,462 backcountry patrols and removed more than 1,234 square feet of graffiti.

If anyone sees vandalism on public lands, it can be reported by calling 800-227-7286.