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Saginaw Chippewa Rock Carvings Need Saved in Michigan

The only known site of indigenous sandstone rock carvings in Michigan – the Sanilac Petroglyphs – which were possibly made by the Anishinabek in that region several centuries prior – are poorly protected from the elements and people carving their initials next to them after “The Great Thumb Fire” of 1881 burned up the grass covering them which left them exposed. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Archaeological Society (which deeded the land in 1966) and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe are working to preserving the site, which is currently protected only by a wooden canopy, and an unsupervised 12-foot-tall chain-link fence (which replaced the 5-foot-high cyclone fence 7 years ago). George Lauinger, acting supervisor of the DNR’s Bay City State Recreation Area, claims:

“The ideal would be for someone who has the financial wherewithal to come in and build an enclosed structure, preferably glass, that covers the entire rock.”

The DNR estimates such would cost about $300,000, and right now their annual budget for upkeep of the area is only $15,640.

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mathias

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