Joshua Tree National Park Graffiti Prompts Closure Of Rattlesnake Canyon Area

04/12/2013 01:04 pm ET

The National Park Service has enacted an emergency closure of Rattlesnake Canyon in California's Joshua Tree Park after reports of widespread graffiti and vandalism.

More than 300 acres have been closed to the public from April 8 to 30. The area has been continually vandalized since January, according to park service reports, and the trend seemed to increase after some of the graffiti was posted on social media.

Some archeological sites have also been vandalized, which may include Native American petroglyphs, a park ranger told the Wall Street Journal.

Defacing National Park property carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The closure (seen on this map) will be reassessed at the end of the month.

(h/t Wall Street Journal)

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