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Forest service officials now have five suspects in what they call one of the worst vandalism cases they've ever seen at a local cave. In April a local archeologist visited the area for the first time this spring and was shocked to find graffiti on the trees and cave's features, plus damaged rocks and trees and fires that destroyed many of the cave's cultural and ecological resources. Jean Nelson Dean with the Deschutes National Forest Service says at this point they don't know if the area can be restored, or how much that might cost: “We are bringing in people to look at what can be fixed. Obviously there are some things that can't be fixed; the trees can't, the trees that were cut down,  but in terms of the graffiti, we're looking at in terms of the historically significance and culturally significant features,  and what we can do there.  We hope we can, but it was pretty significant damage, so we'll just have to see." The five suspects have been referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. The suspects may face misdemeanor, felony or civil action. The "Hidden Forest Cave" is located south of Bend.

 

 

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