Don't Leave Your Mark: Graffiti Mitigation Strategies at Arches National Park

Author(s): Rachel Adler; Laura Martin

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Vanishing Treasures Program: Celebrating 20 Years of National Park Service Historic Preservation" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Over the past five years, there have been several high profile incidents of vandalism on public lands, including in multiple National Parks across the West. This presentation deals with one such incident that took place at Arches National Park in the spring of 2016. Visitors carved names deeply into the face of Frame Arch, a popular resting spot for visitors on their way to Delicate Arch, one of the most popular trails in the park. In October 2017, Vanishing Treasures conservator Rachel Adler tested a number of infill mixtures to disguise the carved graffiti. She completed the treatment in June 2018. The treatment was successful in minimizing the visual impact of the graffiti at the site, but was time and labor intensive, costing the park unanticipated funds. In addition, the compliance process brought to the forefront the enormous challenges parks face when deciding how and when to properly and legally treat graffiti. With incidents increasing every year, parks must develop a streamlined compliance process that is both sensitive to the resources and agreed upon by affiliated tribal communities. Arches has begun that process and hopes to implement these compliance procedures in the coming years.

Cite this Record

Don't Leave Your Mark: Graffiti Mitigation Strategies at Arches National Park. Rachel Adler, Laura Martin. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451176)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24982