Vandalism Harms Historic Cave - Reward Offered

Release Date: May 23, 2011

Contact(s): Penni Borghi – 541-383-5638

BEND, Ore – Forest Service law enforcement officials are investigating recent damage to a popular and significant cave on the Deschutes National Forest.

In late April, Hidden Forest Cave in the China Hat area of the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District was heavily vandalized. Graffiti was sprayed on nearby trees and on many of the cave features, trees and rocks were damaged, and fires destroyed many of the cave’s cultural and ecological resources.

If anyone has information about the vandalism or saw anything that could help police make an arrest, call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS, or e-mail People can remain anonymous and may get a cash reward.

In an effort to help with the investigation, Oregon High Desert Grotto members, a local caving group, raised funds for a reward. Individuals who want to contribute to the reward can go to the Grotto’s website or donate to the reward fund at any Bank of the Cascades branch.

All archaeological and historic sites on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests are protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. The act prohibit digging, removing artifacts, damage and defacement of archaeological resources on public lands, and provides felony and/or misdemeanor prosecution with imprisonment of up to ten years and fines of up to $100,000.

If people see others vandalizing caves or other historic sites on the Deschutes National Forest, they should report it as soon as possible by calling 541-416-6800.