As media worldwide continue to report on the theft of ancient petroglyph art from the volcanic tablelands north of Bishop, BLM and the Bishop Paiute Tribe continue to offer a reward to find the thieves and a donation fund now offers a chance for anyone to help.
The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association has set up a new donation fund Check out their website http://www.esiaonline.com/. Donation checks should note either the reward fund, interpretive opportunities, adopt a camera for surveillance or archaeological site stewardship training and volunteer opportunities. Send checks to ESIA, 190 E. Yaney St., Bishop, CA 93514. Call 760-873-2411.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Bishop Paiute Tribe have contributed $1,000 each to the now $2,000 reward fund for information that would lead to the identity and conviction of the thieves. At BLM, call Melody Stehwein at 760-937-0301 or Eric Keefer at 760-937-0657.
With tall ladders, generators and power saws, someone went up 15 feet to saw out at least four petroglyphs and to damage dozens of others with hammers and saws. The damage was discovered at the end of October and went public before the
holiday. BLM has heightened surveillance since that time.
Greg Haverstock, Bishop Field Office BLM Archaeologist, said, “The damaged site was a pristine example of Great Basin rock art and hunter-gatherer domestic, religious and subsistence activities. The location of archaeological materials, feature remains, and the rock art clearly portray the activities that occurred at the site during the past 3,500 years.”
The 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 Paiutes for ceremonies.
In a story posted on the BBC News website, Raymond Andrews of the Bishop Tribe, was quoted as saying, “Like other indigenous groups, we believe in karma. Something is going to happen. We can try to investigate, but some things are out of our hands.”