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16 October 2003
$1,000 reward to catch vandals at Lovelock Cave

Federal officials frustrated by ongoing vandalism at the Lovelock Cave, a historic site in northern Nevada (USA), announced a $1,000 reward Saturday to help catch the crooks. The reward will go to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the vandalism at the Lovelock Cave recreation site southwest of Lovelock, Bureau of Land Management officials said.
     The cave was used by native people to store supplies thousands of years ago. Some 2,000-year-old duck decoys found there are believed to be the oldest in the world, BLM archaeologist Peggy McGuckian said. "Lovelock Cave is an archaeological site of national importance," McGuckian said. "The thoughtless acts of vandalism carried out at Lovelock Cave indicate a level of disrespect for a place of importance to the Paiute people and all Americans that is incomprehensible," she said.
     Since May, vandals have damaged the large interpretive sign in the parking area, destroyed part of a trail, attempted to destroy the picnic table, tried to burn down a new kiosk and caused damage by driving in areas off limits to vehicles. "When maintenance costs due to vandalism become too great, we can be forced to remove improvements or to close sites, and we do not want to do either at Lovelock Cave," said Terry Reed, BLM's field manager in Winnemucca.
     Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the BLM at 775-623-1720 or the BLM Law Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-521-6501.

Sources: Las Vegas Sun, Associated Press (11 October 2003)

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