Conservationists cite peril to Canyons of Ancients, sites key to Native American spirituality

Durango, USA - A conservation group is warning about vandalism, looting and destruction at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, among other protected lands.

The nonprofit Conservation Lands Foundation, based in Durango, said Monday it's leading a volunteer restoration project at the Canyons of the Ancients.

The project recognizes the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System, which includes the Canyons of the Ancients in southwest Colorado.

The system also encompasses 15 other national monuments overseen by the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.

The monuments are home to rare plants and animals, dinosaur fossils and sites of religious significance to Native Americans.