Robbers Roost graffiti has been cleaned up

SEDONA, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- New information is emerging about a popular Sedona hiking spot that was targeted by vandals.

Some time a week ago, vandals took to Robbers Roost and painted, with black paint, vulgar words and obscene imagery. Now, volunteers have restored Robbers Roost to its original glory.

Officials with Friends of the Forest, the group that's responsible for this type of clean up, say they try to remove it as soon as possible. The work, however, wasn't easy, and unfortunately, this graffiti was just one of several incidents near that same area in recent weeks.

Jerry Peipiora with Friends of the Forest and others were luckily able to restore the rock to its natural state.

"Our primary mission is to get rid of it for a number of reasons, only one of which would be copycat," said Peipiora. "If that stays for a couple of weeks, and someone else is in the same location, well gee, I'll add my identification to that, which makes it even worse."

To get the paint off, they have to use a product approved by the Forest Service, which is environmentally safe.

"Make a slurry with an egg white and iron oxide, and with a sponge, we dab that over the scratching so that has no damage whatsoever," said Peipiora.

The area is known to be a sacred, sensitive site, and because of this, archaeologists had to help with the clean up to make sure none of the historical factors were damaged.
Piepiora says there's been a rash of this type of vandalism in the area recently, and he, along with others, are hoping it stops.

"This paint has become a real problem recently, say, in the last month, month and a half," said Peipiora. "We've had, I think, seven major incidents just in that recent time, and that's very very unusual."

There's no word on if these incidents are connected, but law enforcement is currently looking into it. If you do come across graffiti or something like this, Friends of the Forest asks that you report it right away and don't try to clean it off yourself.