Joshua Tree Vandal Caught On Camera

Nico Payne

A recent video of a visitor at Joshua Tree climbing ancient rock art has some people upset and concerned. NBC Palm Springs spoke to the person who captured the video who worries that one person’s actions could ruin it for the rest of us.

“When I got there, there was some guy who was climbing up on there. I was kind of looking around like is anybody else seeing this, like this guy shouldn’t be up there,” explained Lee Perry, Joshua Tree visitor.

A sign near the site clearly stating, do not climb on the sensitive cultural area.

“These are our lands that we need to protect and so I thought ok I need to get video of this guy so that I can report him to the rangers,” added Perry.

Soon after Perry started recording the alleged trespasser, he started to get agitated and became verbally aggressive. Perry decided to leave because he was alone and the man in the video who claimed to be a researcher from Berkeley had an accomplice.

“I didn’t want to get jumped by two guys basically, the situation became so aggressive, and I think this guy clearly knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he had been caught,” said Perry.

Joshua Tree National Park issuing a statement on this incident for those thinking of doing something similar.

It reads in part…“Park staff try very hard using signs, education, and publications to inform the public about the sensitive sites…that being said, all of these resources are protected by federal law. park rangers will investigate any allegations related to distraction of archaeological resources in the park…”

Park Rangers also thanked Perry for bringing this to their attention.

“Don’t go messing around where you shouldn’t mess around because then you’re just going to ruin it for everybody else and you could potentially damage the thousands of years of indigenous people’s history,” added Perry.

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