MOAB — Near the bottom of a redrock canyon not far from where Kane Creek empties into the Colorado River, Indigenous people returned to a prominent, cube-like boulder for over 3,000 years to inscribe intricate images on its faces.
Known as the Birthing Rock, the boulder features petroglyphs on all four of its accessible sides that date from the Archaic period to more modern Ute inscriptions, including dozens of ancestral Puebloan-era images, including a woman giving birth.
The canyon is popular with off-road vehicles, mountain bikers and hikers, and although it’s only protected by a low wooden fence, it remained free of the graffiti typical in other popular areas.
Sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday, however, vandals descended on the roadside rock and scratched it with obscenities, a crude penis and the words “white power” directly over the top of two anthropomorphic figures.
The Bureau of Land Management is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism.
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