Cows Break Into Rock Art Sites in Northern Arizona, Leave Thousands of Pounds of Poop

Forest Service employees at the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona spent the last two days picking up more than 4,000 pounds of cow poop -- and they didn't get all of it.

According to information released by the Forest Service, cows on a property adjacent to the forest broke down a fence, and wandered into an area known as Snake Gulch, and pooped at locations where hikers can check out rock art, some of which is around 2,000 years old.

"The cows have littered the area with manure, trampled structures, and wallowed beneath the overhangs, which has contributed to undesirable erosion within the drainage," according to the Forest Service.

Despite the 4,000 pounds of poo picked up from the site, north of the Grand Canyon, the Forest Service says "employee and volunteer work days will be scheduled throughout the year to mitigate the damage done by the animals."

As far as the Forest Service's archaeologists know, Snake Gulch has the highest concentration of pictographs in the National Forest Service's lands.

The sites that were cleaned have a "great deal of cultural significance for Native American tribes in the area," according to the Forest Service.

With its poop-pickup, the Forest Service says it takes "its stewardship responsibilities very seriously," which we're not prepared to doubt in the wake of a 4,000-pound cow poop removal.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley