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'Wizard Rock' Returned Weeks After It Vanished From Forest

1-ton boulder went missing from Arizona forest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2019 2:43 AM CST
Wizard Rock hasn't been gathering much moss lately.   (US Forest Service)
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(Newser) – A 1-ton boulder known as Wizard Rock disappeared from Prescott National Forest in Arizona and then "magically" reappeared weeks later. The United States Forest Service says visitors reported around two weeks ago that the well-known rock, a black boulder with white quartz running through it, had vanished from its usual site along state route 89, ABC reports. Trails and Wilderness Manager Jason Williams tells the Arizona Republic that whoever took the rock must have used heavy equipment. "The easy way to do it would be a back hoe," he says. "But, if you had a trailer positioned properly and didn’t mind beating some things up you might be able to do it with a Bobcat."

It is illegal to remove rocks, trees, and other items from national forests without a permit, though the Forest Service says it is just glad to have the boulder back. "We are thrilled the Wizard Rock was returned, and are grateful that whoever took it was conscientious enough to give it back to the public," district ranger Sarah Clawson said in a statement. "National forests provide so many benefits to the American people, and when something like this happens, it highlights the intrinsic value of natural beauty in all its forms." Wizard Rock might not be gathering much moss in its current location—park officials are considering moving it to a new site so "its beauty and uniqueness can be more easily seen by visitors." (Read more national forest stories.)

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