ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of vandals who spray-painted graffiti at an important southern Utah archaeological site.
The BLM recently learned through social media that Shinob Kibe, a mesa popular among residents and sacred site to local Paiute Indians, had been vandalized with the words "Dog Town," a longtime derogatory nickname for Washington City.
The mesa is tucked into Washington City near residential neighborhoods.
"Restoring sites after deliberate vandalism is a complex, difficult process, and not always possible. Thoughtless actions such as these impact the public’s ability to enjoy the spectacular scenic values we have here in Washington County," said BLM St. George Field Office Manager Keith Rigtrup in a statement. "The BLM is dedicated to protecting public lands for the enjoyment of future generations."
According to Hike St. George, Shinob Kibe was named for a Paiute god who was considered a protector of the local tribe. According to the website, Paiutes took refugee there from attacks from a neighboring tribe.
The trail offers a view of St. George and Washington City. At the top of the mesa, visitors are able to sign a trail log and learn who else has visited the site.
Those with information are asked to contact the Archaeological Resources Protection Act hotline at 800-227-7286. Callers may remain anonymous.