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Title: Paleontological excavations in designated wilderness: theory and practic

Author: Barns, Christopher V.;

Date: 2000

Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 155-159

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Wilderness is widely recognized as a valuable environment for scientific research, and it is generally assumed that this research will benefit the wilderness resource. But what if the research is of value only in understanding an ecosystem that has been extinct for 65 million years? What if thousands of pounds of material must be removed from the wilderness to conduct this research? In 1998, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science excavated two sites within the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness—the first known paleontological excavations from a designated wilderness. This paper examines the Bureau of Land Management’s analysis of the excavation proposal, including: discussions of appropriateness, determination of minimum tool, options for mitigating impacts to the wilderness resource, public outreach alternatives, and a post-excavation review of the Environmental Assessment prepared for this “ground-breaking” research.

Keywords: wilderness, paleontology, excavation, resource management, mitigation, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

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Barns, Christopher V. 2000. Paleontological excavations in designated wilderness: theory and practic. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 155-159

 


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