You've probably heard by now, an
ancient footprint from a dinosaur trackway near Moab
has been stolen - yanked from the ground and hauled away. The tragic
act of vandalism is prompting news articles in media around the
world. DeseretNews.com has the
. Here's a couple quotes:
“A lot of the
guides will pull off and show people the dinosaur tracks that are
there on the cliff side so all of the public can enjoy them and
unfortunately one of these guides who is very familiar with the
tracks recognized that one of the blocks had been stolen and reported
it to us," BLM Canyon Country district paleontologist ReBecca
The tracks are
from the Navajo sandstone, which is Jurassic in age.
assign a monetary value to it, they are priceless,” Hunt-Foster
said. “They are one-of-a-kind, individual tracks a dinosaur made
190 million years ago, and they cannot be replaced.”
Public help is needed, perhaps to
recover this track and also to protect others. What can you do? Here
If you hear of someone trying to peddle
a dinosaur track turn him in. Seriously.
If neighbor's yard sports a new slab of
Navajo sandstone with funny markings, contact authorities.
If you were in the area and noticed
anything suspicious, contact authorities.
Mostly, pay attention when you are out
and about and report illegal activities.
BLM manages this particular trackway.
That agency released this
. Here are excerpts.
Members of the
public interested in protecting these important resources should
consider becoming a paleontology site steward. The Site Steward
Program uses volunteers to monitor significant sites for vandalism,
looting, and natural impacts such as erosion, while also increasing
public awareness about the preservation of our invaluable fossil
resources. To learn more about becoming a paleontology site steward,
please contact Rebecca Hunt-Foster at (435) 259-2179.
information on this case, please contact BLM Law Enforcement at (801)
539-4082. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf
(TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at
1-800-877-8339 to leave a message with the above individual. The
FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are
provided during normal business hours.
Law enforcement can't do it alone.
There are so many significant but fragile sites, it is not possible
to post guards at each one. And having tight security would diminish
the experience for many of us. We go into the backcountry to get away
stuff like that.
If we work together, pay attention and
report problems, we can make a difference.
- Dave Webb