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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Utah State Office
 
Release Date: 02/21/14
Contacts: Rebecca Hunt-Foster, (435) 259-2179    
  Megan Crandall, (801) 539-4020    

BLM Investigating Theft of Dinosaur Track near Moab


Loss Robs Everyone of an Irreplaceable Piece of Natural History
 
MOAB, Utah—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), along with the Grand County Sherriff’s Office, is investigating the recent theft of a dinosaur track along a section of the Hell's Revenge Jeep trail near Moab.  The dinosaur track, preserved in Navajo Sandstone, dates to the Jurassic Period and is estimated to be 190 million years old.  
 
"When fossil resources like dinosaur tracks are damaged, vandalized or stolen, we all lose something priceless,” said Rebecca Hunt-Foster, BLM-Utah Canyon Country District Paleontologist.  “These fossils belong to all Americans.  When fossils like these are taken, we lose irreplaceable scientific and educational opportunities to explore some of the natural history that makes Utah’s public lands so special.”
 
Investigators are pursuing several leads at this time, and the BLM is offering a reward for information leading to the identification of person(s) involved in the theft.  Anyone with information pertaining to this case is asked to contact BLM Law Enforcement at (801) 539-4082. 
 
The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act of 2009 protects fossils resources like tracks, as well as vertebrate fossils like dinosaur bones.  Vandalism and theft of these resources can result in criminal and civil penalties, including fines and potential jail time.
 
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. 
 
For more 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.
 
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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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Utah State Office   440 West 200 South, Suite 500      SLC, UT 84101-1345  

Last updated: 02-21-2014