GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 236-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


UGLESICH, Jessica and HUNT-FOSTER, ReBecca, Canyon Country District Office, Bureau of Land Management, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532,

Looting and vandalism of paleontological resources on public lands has been an ongoing problem for well over a century. Fascination with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, largely fueled by movie and toy industries, feeds individual desires to possess these irreplaceable pieces of Earth’s history rather than understand them and their place in paleoecology. In recent years, a number of initiatives aimed to protect paleontological resources and the scientific insights they provide have been developed. In 2009, the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) was enacted, instructing the Secretary to manage and protect paleontological resources on Federal Land using scientific principles and expertise, and to develop plans to increase public awareness about the significance of paleontological resources. In May of 2016, the Bureau of Land Management Utah (BLM) and Tread Lightly! teamed up to launch one such program, the “Respect and Protect” Campaign, to engage the public in the stewardship of cultural and natural resources.

A major part of the 2016 “Respect and Protect” GeoCorps internship with the BLM has been public education in support of PRPA through education and outreach programs. Serving as an interpreter at paleontological sites, including the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and public dinosaur track-sites in the Canyon Country District, has provided a medium through which to communicate the importance of preserving our natural history with visitors to the area. The goals of this year’s 2016 GeoCorps internship is to foster curiosity and emotional connections to the natural world with hope to inspire personal and social responsibility to care for it. The past isn’t just full of unique and fascinating creatures and events; it is also the key to the present, and protecting the natural world around us involves protecting the information stored within the rock record. Through the “Respect and Protect” program, we hope to engage and educate the public in the stewardship of our nation’s priceless natural heritage.