National park officials mull action after cactus vandalism

Posted: May 17, 2013

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Saguaro cacti

Spray-painted graffiti on cactuses and other objects along an Arizona hiking trail has created a conundrum for the National Park Service.

While the signs and boulders that were tagged with acronyms and symbols can be repainted and scrubbed, the paint on the cactuses is another story. About 16 of the cactuses in Saguaro National Park were painted, and many of them are 100 to 150 years old.

"We've never had this problem before," said Andy Fisher, the park's chief of interpretation. "We are investigating what our options are. Anything we would normally do to rock would obviously damage the saguaro."

Park Service officials plan to consult officials from Pima County, Ariz., to see whether they have any experience with graffiti on cactuses.

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