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Video Captures Hikers Destroying Ancient Rock Formations At Lake Mead National Park

Federal authorities are urging the public to report two individuals suspected of damaging rock formations at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada.

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Federal authorities are urging the public to come forward with any information regarding two individuals suspected of damaging rock formations at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada.

The incident occurred over a recent weekend near the Redstone Dune Trail, a renowned hiking destination on the north side of the lake. The petrified red dunes in this area attract numerous visitors, making it a cherished spot within the park.

A video, reported to have gone viral by CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV, captured the destructive act on the evening of April 7. The footage depicts two men pushing chunks of sandstone off an outcropping as a girl's cries echo in the background. Park officials have condemned the behavior as reprehensible, emphasizing that the damage inflicted is irreversible.

John Haynes, public information officer at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, expressed dismay over the incident, stating, "It's one of my favorite places in the park, and they're up there just destroying it. I don't understand that." He underscored the severity of such actions, noting that destruction at federally protected sites can lead to felony charges, carrying potential fines and imprisonment.

Spanning over 2,344 square miles of pristine wilderness, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a popular destination, drawing approximately 6 million visitors annually. Limited staffing levels necessitate the vigilance of both park officials and the public in safeguarding natural resources within park boundaries.

Visitors are encouraged to utilize their cellphones to document any suspicious activity safely and gather relevant information, such as license plate numbers, to aid in identifying offenders. The National Park Service operates a tip line (888-653-0009) and an online reporting platform to facilitate the submission of tips and evidence.

Haynes emphasized the importance of community involvement, stating, "It's really important to let us know."

Instances of vandalism on federal land across the Western United States have been reported over the past decade, ranging from defacing petroglyphs to damaging rock formations and ancient rock art. Such incidents underscore the ongoing challenge of preserving cherished natural and cultural heritage sites for future generations.

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