Park service, others keep busy with graffiti removal

It’s a problem that’s not getting any better.

Earlier this month National Park Service employees, Nevada Conservation Corps members, and Volunteers in Parks conducted graffiti removal at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Speedy removal of these eyesores is necessary to prevent graffiti buildup and further damage to natural resources.

“Graffiti has always been an issue in high-use areas, but we’re noticing a slight increase in occurrences in hard-to-reach ones,” said NPS biologist Carrie Norman, who coordinated the cleanup. Those who have ventured down to Gold Strike Canyon may see some unsightly examples. Our team can only get out once a year for some out-of-the-way locations like Placer Cove, so we can expect a few days of manual labor to remove all the paint.”

Graffiti has been a problem for years throughout the National Park Service, she said. And if they don’t remove the graffiti, it invites others to do the same.

“Negative impacts of graffiti include damaging the natural environment, inviting more graffiti buildup, damaging other natural resources, and potentially harming native wildlife,” Norman said. “Lastly, many culturally-significant areas within the park may have petroglyphs. If graffiti is placed over these features, they cannot be restored as these are fragile and non-renewable resources. Harming these cultural resources is disrespectful to our local tribes.”

If someone reports to dispatch the issue and location, the NPS has its archeologist investigate and then the staff puts together a team for removal.

“So, we remove it as needed,” she added.

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