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Volunteers clean up Red Rock Canyon defaced with graffiti

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Bureau of Land Management is trying to battle a growing graffiti problem at Red Rock Canyon. The scars, paint, and even gum left by park visitors is in violation of federal law and could lead to jail time. But luckily, at least some of the damage is repairable.

Friends of Red Rock Canyon is a group of volunteers who dedicate their time to removing damage that defaces the canyon. John Minardi is the team leader and says they currently donate two workdays a month, but are hoping to go more often.

Minardi took News 3 to a location they call "Gum Rock" off Calico 1 along the scenic overlook. The formations are covered in gum and marker. "It's rather disgusting. We have found it nearly impossible to remove the gum." Minardi says that despite their efforts to clean up "Gum Rock," it continues to be defaced. "This is kind of like our fail safe place; if we don't want to go very far, we go here," Minardi said.

In 2010 the Native American Cultural site was disfigured with graffiti, costing a reported $25,000 to restore.

"As long as graffiti is there, somebody else will write on the wall. That's why we have to remove it," Minardi said.

In order to prevent further damage, Friends of Red Rock Canyon use gentle biodegradable chemicals and water to remove graffiti, and they need the public's help to report vandalism.

"You see the beauty of this place and you wonder why people would do it," Minardi said. "Everybody here, they work their hearts out because they love it as much as anybody should love it."

BLM's graffiti tip line is (702) 293-8932.

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