Petroglyph National Monument damaged after visitors move, stack hundreds of rocks

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A large area of the Petroglyph National Monument was damaged by visitors earlier this month.

More than 300 stacked rocks called "cairns" were recently found by park neighbors on June 17 and reported to park staff.

Officials said creating cairns can damage archaeological sites and increase damage from erosion.

“We ask that our visitors please respect these sacred landscapes and refrain from moving or stacking rocks, and practice ‘Leave No Trace’ principles when visiting the monument," Petroglyph National Monument Superintendent Nancy Hendricks said. "Moving, stacking, or making shapes out of rocks is a form of vandalism and will impact every visitor who comes after.”

Investigators are looking for whoever made them. If anyone has information, they are asked to contact the park at (505) 899-0205.