Lake Mead Ancient Rocks Toppled by Vandals

The National Park Service is seeking help from the public to find two men who were captured on camera toppling an ancient natural rock formation at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada last week, officials said on Monday.

A video posted on April 7 shows the two men, legs bent, pushing the large red rocks. A young girl in the background can be heard yelling: “Don’t fall … Daddy! Daddy!” As the men try to move the rocks, another person is heard off-camera saying, “But why?”

The National Park Service is asking anyone who might be able to help identify the “vandalism suspects” to call or text the National Park Service-wide Tip Line 888-653-0009, submit a tip online or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, established in 1936, is 2,338 square miles. It runs along the Colorado River, from the western end of Grand Canyon National Park to below Davis Dam. The sandstone formations on the Redstone Trail were shaped over time by geological forces from 140 million-year-old dunes, according to the National Park Service.

“National parks are some of the most special, treasured, and protected areas of our country,” the agency said in a statement. “To protect these natural and cultural resources for this and future generations, all visitors to national parks are expected to follow park laws and regulations.”

John Haynes, the public information officer for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, told KVVU, a Fox affiliate in Las Vegas, that he didn’t understand why someone would vandalize it.

“This almost feels like a personal attack in a way,” Mr. Haynes said.

Vandalism in national parks is nothing new, Jordan Fifer, a public affairs specialist for the National Park Service told The New York Times.

“Unfortunately, it’s common,” Mr. Fifer said. “We rarely, however, see something of this nature where the people in the video seem so intent on destruction.”

In 2021, vandals destroyed abstract geometric designs at Big Bend National Park in Texas that had survived for thousands of years by scratching their names and dates into them.

The U.S. National Park Service condemns such behaviors on its website, noting that disturbing wildlife or damaging their habitats can directly lead to their demise and is illegal.



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