Vandals in New Mexico sprayed graffiti, dumped trash and set illegal campfires near ancient American Indian rock art at one of North America's largest petroglyph sites.

Dennis Vasquez, superintendent of Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque, found graffiti, debris, evidence of campfires and motorcycle tracks last week while exploring a section of the park. He also found shotgun shells and semi-trailer tires in the monument's canyon.

It was unclear if any of the thousands of centuries-old Pueblo Indian markings of symbols and animals were damaged.

City crews are removing litter and debris and restoring sections of downed fence at the park jointly managed by the National Park Service and Albuquerque. They will work to remove the graffiti as quickly as possible and try to prevent permanent damage.

No arrests have been made after vandals, armed with gold spray paint, wrote things like "taz," ''Love Jesus," and "Crazy Bone" over the lava rock.

Monument advocate Ike Eastvold said he had not been to the vandalized area in about three years so he didn't know how long the garbage and vandalism was there.

"You can see this is a campfire area here, which is illegal," Eastvold told KRQE-TV, while pointing to a pile of burned trash. "They come down here and shoot, too. They have even shot the petroglyphs."

While there has been a decline in vandalism and other serious criminal violations, some petty problems are on the rise, officials say. A management agreement allows park rangers to issue citations.

In September, authorities say pathways at the Petroglyph National Monument were damaged after someone took a joyride in hot-wired farm equipment. (Source)

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