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Historic pictographs damaged by vandals

Posted at 4:13 PM, Aug 12, 2022

TOWNSEND — The Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest is asking for help identifying whoever is responsible for vandalizing historic pictographs.

The vandalism occurred sometime between June 3 and July 28 of 2022.

A picture released by the Forest Service shows the initials “J.R. + D.R 2022” carved into the limestone rock.

The rock art is part of the Hellgate pictographs located in the Townsend Ranger District.

The agency said in a Facebook post: "The Hellgate Pictographs are a significant cultural resource and while they can survive thousands of years of elements through time, they cannot withstand this type of vandalism. This pictograph panel is one of the largest rock art sites in Montana and holds high spiritual value to local Tribal Nations."

If you have any information about the vandalism contact the Townsend Ranger District at 406-387-3839.