California News

Apr 13, 2013 11:57 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Graffiti force closure of Joshua Tree park sites

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - Graffiti have become so pervasive at Joshua Tree National Park's most popular hiking spots that officials have had to close them to the public.

Park officials say they've found graffiti spray painted on 17 sites, including giant boulders and historic Native American sites, at the park's Rattlesnake Canyon. Vandals also left their marks at Barker Dam, a relic of the Old West created by cowboys to pool water for their cattle.

Officials say the graffiti started with just a few markings, but quickly spread. They blame vandals who posted pictures of their handiwork on social media sites, which enticed others to the same spot and leave their own illicit marks.

Ranger Pat Pilcher said law enforcement officers are investigating the vandalism.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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