USFS Employee Vandalized Rock Art Panel in Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, Feds Believe

A U.S. Forest Service employee is under investigation for allegedly vandalizing an archeological site containing pictographs that are thousands of years old, according to a search warrant application obtained by The Daily Beast. The temporary survey technician out of Missoula, Montana, scratched her first name, last initial, and the date into a rock art panel on a limestone cliff face in the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, known as the “Canyon Mouth Site,” an affidavit attached to the warrant application alleges. (The Daily Beast has redacted the suspect’s name from the filing because she has not yet been charged.) It will cost more than $25,000 to restore the historically significant artwork, which dates back to 1,000 B.C., the affidavit says. Since the damage exceeded $500, if charged and convicted, she could face up to two years in prison and a $20,000 fine. A call to her cellphone on Friday went unanswered.

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