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Graffiti problem shuts parts of Joshua Tree National Park

A section of Joshua Tree National Park is shown in this undated file photo.

April 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Graffiti has become such a problem at Joshua Tree National Park, that officials have temporarily closed some areas to the public while the mess is cleaned up.

Seventeen spots have been defaced, including famous rock formations and historic Native American sites at the park's Rattlesnake Canyon. Rangers put historic Barker Dam off limits after vandals carved their names into the cement of the Old West landmark.

Park officials say some of the vandals posted their handiwork on Facebook, enticing others to leave their own marks on the landscape.

The incidents are under investigation. If caught, vandals could face thousands of dollars in fines and six months in jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.