UPDATE: 2-1-13 BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said that BLM “received anonymous information and we recovered the petroglyphs.”
Bureau of Land Management investigators don’t want to say where or how, but they confirmed today that the petroglyph panels stolen from the major rock art site north of Bishop have been recovered and are in the possession of the BLM. Discussions are underway with the Bishop Paiute Tribe on how to handle the dissected panels.
The BLM press release said this:
“Petroglyph panels taken from a major rock art site north of Bishop have been recovered.
Suspects(s) have not been identified and BLM is continuing its investigation, so cannot release further details at this time.
Reward funds totaling $9,000 have been donated or pledged for information leading to the conviction of the responsible party(ies).
The damaged petroglyph panels at the site on the Volcanic Tableland were discovered in late 2012.
Bernadette Lovato, BLM Bishop Field Office manager said, ‘Recovery of the petroglyphs was a priority from day one. I am pleased that they were returned. Now we need the public’s help to identify the vandals responsible for damaging the site.’
Anybody with information about the theft is asked to contact BLM law enforcement at (760) 937-0301 or (760) 937-0657. The suspect(s) may have experience and access to masonry cutting tools.
The petroglyph site is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This site is one of the most significant rock art sites in the region and is still used by the local Paiute Tribe for ceremonies.
Convictions on ARPA violations can result in fines and/or prison terms. In addition, ARPA provides for civil fines, either in conjunction with or independent of any criminal prosecution, and forfeiture of vehicles and equipment used in the violation of the statute.”