SOURCE: USA Today

DATE: February 26, 2020

SNIP: Joshua Tree National Park is requesting the public’s help in finding the person or persons responsible for recent acts of vandalism.

Since January, spray-painted graffiti has appeared on rock features in several areas within the vast Southern California park. They include Rattlesnake Canyon, the Geo Tour Road, and Skull Rock Natural Trail.

Additionally, Joshua trees have been toppled or damaged.

“Joshua Tree National Park belongs to all of us,” David Smith, park superintendent, stated in a news release issued Tuesday. “Using paint or chisels on rocks and trees destroys the beauty we are trying to protect in our parks.

“It is our hope that anyone with knowledge of these incidents will come forward so that we can eliminate future problems. It is illegal deface any of the resources in the park.”

The park requests that anyone with information about the recent vandalism report their observations via email at jotr_graffiti@nps.org. The park also is seeking volunteers for various tasks, including graffiti cleanup and patrols.

Vandalism is an ongoing problem for the sprawling desert park. During the partial government shutdown that began in late December 2018, several of the park’s signature Joshua trees were destroyed or removed by vandals.

[Ed note: why are humans so consistently awful?]