UTAH | On the evening of June 28, 2020 a fire started on Utah State land north of the preserve and traveled northward toward Saratoga Springs. The preserve was not in danger until two trespassers (for reasons yet to be determined) illegally gained access to the preserve in a vehicle. The heat from the vehicle started a secondary fire on preserve land. This fire consumed 95% of the vegetation around preserve petroglyph’s. Emergency fire personnel operating a bulldozer then entered the property creating a one mile long fire berm, fortunately missing significant rock art panels.
The Utah County Sheriffs office is investigating the trespassing incident.
More investigation will be done with the states SHPO office, the Preserve Manager, and Stewards to determine if and to what extent petroglyph’s and other cultural resources on the preserve were damaged due to the trespassers and subsequent bulldozing activities. .
Extensive reclamation work will need to be done for erosion control to this fire line. It is unlikely that we will receive any restitution from the trespassers, even if offense-related restitution is court ordered we will likely not see those funds for a very long time.
For this reason it is essential that we call upon the public for donations.
In order to donate to the Smith Family Archaeological Preserve please follow the instructions below.
1. Visit https://donate.archaeologicalconservancy.org/
2. Click on the “Designation” box,
3. Choose “Smith Family Preserve”from the drop down on the designation box.