As workers began covering Graffiti Highway in Columbia County on Monday, a petition was started urging Gov. Tom Wolf to save what has become a local landmark and tourist attraction.

The petition circulating on the website was authored by Mark Minnich, that seeks 15,000 signatures.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition garnered almost 13,000 of that goal.

The petition reads “The Graffiti Highway is a historic landmark recognized by much of Pennsylvania as well as surrounding states.”

It says the site has been a popular tourist destination for decades.

That came to an end Monday when crews from Fox Coal Co., Mount Carmel, began spreading a layer of clay over the highway, covering years worth of graffiti.

The petition said that, with only one-day notice, the land owner, Pagnotti Enterprises, announced its plan to cover the highway and hired Fox Coal Co. to cover it.

Minnich’s petition said that, by making the decision the way it did, Pagnotti was hoping to “hide this news behind the presence of the COVID-19 outbreak in the news” and attempted to cover the land up undetected by young as well as aged adventurers.

“The company states the reasoning for closing the site involves ‘littering and liability,’ yet these same concerns have been raised since the 1960s,” the petition reads.

“Rather than destroying this landmark, why not sell the land back to the government or find another peaceful resolution? Don’t let this tragedy go by unnoticed.”

When the petition is complete, it will be forwarded “in the hopes that Governor Tom Wolf steps in.”

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