October 28, 2019 - The boulder commonly referred to as the “Wizard Rock” by many local residents was reported missing to the Prescott National Forest about two weeks ago. The Wizard Rock was a large 1 ton beautiful black boulder with white quartz running through it and special to the community. People familiar with driving south of town on Hwy 89/Whitespar Rd in the Indian Fire area have known this rock for many years and some folks often stopped and admired its beauty and even took others there to share this unique boulder.
This isn’t the 1st time forest officials have asked the public for help in locating rocks taken from the forest. In 2009 an 80 pound heart shaped rock was taken from Granite Mountain Wilderness and the Daily Courier ran a story about the missing rock that requested its return. The story resulted in an anonymous person returning the rock as they didn’t know it meant so much to the local people familiar with it. Prescott National Forest officials are seeking any information related to the removal of the “Wizard Rock”.
“It’s unfortunate when we lose a treasure such as the Wizard Rock. Our hope is that it will be returned to us, and these recent recurring events will become an educational opportunity" said Sarah Clawson, district ranger for the Bradshaw Ranger District. “These boulders belong to the public, and should be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come. If members of the public have questions about what they can take or purchase from the Prescott National Forest, or how to obtain legal authorization to do so, they should contact any of our offices for information.”
In the last four months the forest has had two separate incidents of boulders being removed from the National Forest by individuals using heavy equipment as all of the boulders that have gone missing weighed approximately 750-2,000 pounds, which cannot be moved without equipment. The other incident occurred on the Dearing Road near Thumb Butte.
U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement (LEOs) are seeking your assistance in gathering information regarding this incident. Removal of minerals from NF lands without a valid permit is illegal. A violation could result in a maximum fine of $5,000.00 or 6 months in jail and or both. Anyone with information is urged to contact the LEOs at (928) 443-8110.
Permits are required to gather and remove most forest products. This includes rocks and minerals, firewood, plant and trees. Permits can be obtained at any Prescott National Forest district office. For more information on permits, please call the Bradshaw Ranger District at (928) 443-8000.
Visitors of the Prescott National Forest can obtain additional information via the following:
- Prescott NF Forest Website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/
- Twitter: @PrescottNF
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF/
- Local Ranger Stations: Bradshaw Ranger District, (928) 443-8000; Chino Valley Ranger District (928) 777-2200; Verde Ranger District (928) 567-4121
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