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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Moab Field Office
 
Release Date: 12/13/13
Contacts: Rebecca Hunt-Foster, (435)259-2100    

BLM Moab Field Office Seeks Site Stewards from Local Community


Moab, Utah—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Moab Field Office (MFO) is seeking site stewards for several key dinosaur track sites. The Site Steward Program invites volunteers to help monitor significant sites for vandalism, looting, and natural impacts, such as erosion. It is also designed to increase public awareness regarding the preservation of fossil and other natural heritage resources.  
 
The Moab area is well known for its rich fossil history.  In the Canyon Country District over 140 known track sites have been documented. Dinosaur tracks, which are a type of “trace fossil,” are a non-renewable resource with scientific value. Unfortunately, some of these sites have been vandalized. 
 
One such instance was recently discovered. On Nov. 13, 2013, the BLM discovered damage done to dinosaur tracks at the Poison Spider Tracksite along highway 279.  The damage consisted of a casting attempt, leaving plaster in the track and causing damage to the surrounding rock.  These tracks have been repeatedly vandalized since first being documented by the BLM in 1965. The BLM will attempt to clean and repair the site, working carefully to safely remove residual casting material and foreign substances. The work must be done slowly and delicately to avoid further damage to the tracks. 
 
The objective of the Canyon Country Site Steward Program is to provide current information to the BLM about the archaeological and paleontological resource site conditions through trained volunteers who regularly visit selected sites.  Volunteers help monitor these sites for natural or man-caused degradation. Another very important role of site stewards is community education and awareness. 
 
What does being a site steward entail? Volunteers will work with BLM specialists to receive the necessary training, set up a monitoring schedule (generally at least four times a year), select a site to monitor and then regularly report on findings. Individuals should be willing to carry basic field gear including water, first aid kit, notepad, site monitoring report forms, a map, trash bags and gloves. It is recommended that volunteers also have “Leave No Trace” and other educational materials to hand out as appropriate, when contacted by visitors. Oh, and a willingness to have fun!
 
Fossil tracksites on public lands are protected under federal law, and damage to paleontological resources can result in criminal and civil penalties. The public is encouraged to report any vandalism to the Canyon Country District Office in Moab, Utah.
 
The BLM encourages interested members of the public to consider becoming a paleontology site steward. The Moab Field Office also offers opportunities for site stewardship of archaeological resources in the area. Call the BLM office at (435)259-2100 or stop by and ask to talk to a paleontologist or archaeologist.
 
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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Moab Field Office   82 East Dogwood      Moab, UT 84532  

Last updated: 12-13-2013