Starting Wednesday, the public will need a permit to visit Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
The purpose of the new permit is to allow the Bureau of Land Management to educate the public about appropriate behavior at the site which is sacred to American Indians who continue to hold ceremonies and religious observances there.
Tracking visitation will also allow the agency to monitor impacts on the site.
“Painted Rock is widely considered to be among the finest examples of Native American pictograph painting in the world,” said Tamara Whitley, BLM archaeologist.
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Many of the painted sections were damaged a century ago by souvenir hunters who tried to remove them. However, a significant number of the paintings are still intact.
Permits can be obtained online at http://recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. If available, permits may also be obtained at the monument’s Goodwin Education Center.