Rocky Mountain Section - 72nd Annual Meeting - 2020

Paper No. 1-7
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


MATTHEWS, Neffra A., Bureau of Land Management, National Operations Center, Denver, CO 80225 and BREITHAUPT, Brent, Bureau of Land Managment, Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82009

In the fall of 2007, the occurrence of dinosaur tracks near Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah, a popular off-highway vehicle (OHV) area, was reported to the BLM Kanab Field Office. Investigation by BLM paleontologists revealed a spectacular vertebrate tracksite situated on multiple levels of the Navajo Sandstone (age ~185 million years) in a slickrock area covering about 1,000 m2 of land managed by the BLM. The site, designated the Moccasin Mountain Tracksite (MMT) contains a high ichno-diversity. At least six different track types have been observed, including tridactyl (Grallator and Eubrontes) and tetradactyl (Batrachopus and Otozoum) forms. Tracks occur on various dunal surfaces and exhibit multiple types of unique ichnological preservation. The proximity of MMT to extremely popular OHV recreational areas and its scientific significance is ideal for the synergy of management, science, technology, interpretation, and recreation opportunities.

In the spring of 2008, an overall strategy for managing the MMT was devised which included scientific documentation and the creation of interpretive materials. Photogrammetry, both close-range and low-level aerial, were utilized to image the surface, resulting in 2D maps and 3D data sets. Products from the photogrammetry were used in interactive signage installed at the site and a printed brochure. The brochure (containing photographs and descriptions of the diverse ichnofauna) and a map lead “track explorers” on a self-guided tour, which points out select footprints and encourages finding and documenting tracks not included on the map. In use for the past ten years, the “track explorer” vest (equipped with digital camera, GPS unit, measuring tape and other equipment for documenting and measuring the tracks) may be checked out from the Kanab Field Office. Events at the site, such as the “haunted tracksite," which takes place in October continue to be popular and well attended. A podcast (available to download from the website) highlights the important features of the site, bringing the MMT story to a wider audience not able to visit. This cadre of educational and interpretive materials provides an effective tool for presenting the uniqueness of the MMT to the public and encourages children of all ages to explore the paleontological wonders in America's Great Outdoors.