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Florissant and John Day Fossil Beds National Monuments

Fossils in our parklands:
Examples of UCMP service and stewardship

Celebrating the 2016 National Parks centennial

On March 25-27, 2015, UC Berkeley partnered with the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society to mark the anniversary of a conference held in Berkeley 100 years ago that brought together scientists, conservationists, and government officials, leading to the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. Participants in the three-day summit — called "Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century" — discussed and advanced the mission of the parks in a changing world. More information, the summit schedule, and a complete list of speakers can be found here. As part of UCMP's participation in the summit, we rededicate this online exhibit, "Fossils in our parklands," with new examples highlighting the importance of fossils in the parks.

The Horace Albright Lecture in Conservation, America's Two Best Ideas — Public Education and Public Lands, was held on March 26 in conjunction with the parks summit.

To date (May 15, 2015), UCMP's collections contain 14,695 fossil specimens from 952 localities in 47 National Park Service parks, monuments, seashores, preserves, scenic rivers, and recreation areas. Learn more about a few of those parks (and some State Parks and other public lands) with fossils represented in the UCMP collections:

The 47 parks with fossils represented in the UCMP collections are listed below by state.

Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Denali National Park and Preserve
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park and Preserve
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kobuk Valley National Park
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Noatak National Preserve
Wrangell Saint Elias National Park and Preserve

Chiricahua National Monument
Grand Canyon National Park
Petrified Forest National Park

Channel Islands National Park
Death Valley National Park
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Thornton State Beach
Lava Beds National Monument
Mojave National Preserve
Point Reyes National Seashore
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Mesa Verde National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

Acadia National Park

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Cherokee Regional Park or Lilydale Regional Park
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnehaha Regional Park
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Shadow Falls Park

Vicksburg National Military Park

Glacier National Park
Yellowstone National Park

Niobrara National Scenic River

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

New Mexico
Pecos National Historical Park

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

South Dakota
Badlands National Park

Big Bend National Park

Capitol Reef National Park
Zion National Park

North Cascades National Park
Olympic National Park
San Juan Island National Historical Park

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park

Note: Collection of fossil material is illegal unless done under a permit from the National Park Service. If you think you have found a fossil on National Park lands, please contact a park representative.

Florissant and John Day photos by Dave Smith.