A second man — the father of a young man charged last week — has been charged with the vandalism that damaged an ancient pictograph panel in the San Rafael Swell.

Last week, the Emery County attorney's office filed a third-degree felony charge of a violation of the antiquities protection law against Jeremy Shane Craig, 22, a resident of Huntington, Emery County.

On Tuesday, his father, Dentist Lee Craig, was charged with the same third-degree felony in the incident, says the office. (The criminal information document was taken to the court late Monday, but the actual charging happened when court officials processed it on Tuesday.)

Around July 19, someone used chalk to scrawl a drawing of an eye, a heart, a capital U and the word Wendy on a pictograph panel in Buckhorn Draw. The translation of the graffiti is "I love you Wendy."

The Barrier Canyon style pictographs are believed to date back 2,000 to 4,000 years.

After the vandalism was reported someone went to the site and tried to remove it, making the damage worse. The chalk was washed off and mud was placed on the sandstone panel.

But these actions scoured off the fragile, rose-colored desert varnish that had accumulated on the rock surface.

Scientists believe that desert varnish, which includes dissolved magnesium and other minerals, flowed through the porous sandstone during a wet period that began around 10,000 years ago. Then it happened again about 3,000 years ago. In places where water seeps over rocks today, desert varnish may still be forming.

The damage was repaired by Constance S. Silver of Preservar Inc., an expert who worked on an earlier project to restore the pictographs of the Buckhorn Draw panel. In her report, she noted that the vandalism, washing and mud destroyed the desert varnish.

"As a result, the panel has been irreparably damaged," she wrote. She was able to restore its appearance through the use of watercolors and pastels (at a cost of $2,500), but the treatment will last no more than eight to 10 years. It will need to be retreated at that interval on into the future, she wrote, unless some major breakthrough occurs in rock-art conservation.

The Emery County sheriff's office, the Bureau of Land Management and local people concerned about restoring historic sites established a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever was responsible for the vandalism. Three people offered information about the damage, said Emery County Sheriff LaMar Guymon.

On Tuesday, the younger Craig made an initial appearance before 7th District Judge Bruce K. Halliday in Castle Dale. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 19.

Meanwhile, Dentist Lee Craig's whereabouts are unknown, says the county attorney's office. Born in 1958, Craig has a last known address in South Carolina, according to the prosecutor's office.


E-mail: bau@desnews.com