ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Petroglyph official says the vandalism problem at the national monument on Albuquerque’s west side is not going away.

Petroglyph National Monument Superintendent Nancy Hendricks said crews have seen three instances of vandalism just this year, including spray paint on the rocks at Boca Negra Canyon in the past two months, at their headquarters in January, and at the Rinconada Canyon Trail, where someone also carved into the rocks back in February.

“Even if people go out there just with a pocket knife or another piece of rock, it leaves a permanent scar and it has permanent impacts on the Petroglyph Monument and on the rocks themselves that we can’t remove 100 percent,” Hendricks explained. She said APD is investigating the three incidents.

To help prevent future vandalism, the monument has a group of trail watch volunteers, and rangers have adjusted their schedules to work during times when the vandalism typically happens. Hendricks asks people to respect the cultural monument and help preserve it for future generations.

“The Petroglyphs are really valuable to the cultural people of the area: the Puebloan and tribal communities that consider them sacred, so it’s really important for us to protect them as best we can,” she said.

The extra foot traffic in the area these days is also a reminder for visitors to pick up after themselves, their pets, and follow Petroglyph rules.

“We’re seeing a lot of increased illegal activity: we’re seeing a lot more litter on our trails, we’re seeing a lot more bicycles, which bicycling is not allowed in the monument,” Hendricks stated. “Don’t take anything with you other than the things that you brought in, carry out your waste and litter and help us preserve the monument.”

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