Historic Cave Vandalism Suspects Caught

Release Date: Jun 9, 2011

Contact(s): Jean Nelson-Dean – 541.383.5561

BEND, Ore – Forest Service law enforcement officials have apprehended suspects in the recent damage to a popular and culturally significant cave on the Deschutes National Forest.

This week, Forest Service law enforcement officials identified and interviewed five suspects in the vandalism of historic Hidden Forest Cave. The case has been referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. The suspects may face misdemeanor, felony, or civil action in the matter.

The Forest Service wants to thank members of the High Desert Grotto, Bend Police Department and Crimestoppers for their assistance in this investigation.


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.

In an effort to help with the investigation, Oregon High Desert Grotto members, a local caving group, raised funds for a reward.