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Colorado Has Fossils! Do You Have The Will Power To Hunt Them Down?

Ray Eklund

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Vince Matthews was going to do a talk for FSS in February but has postponed it until May because of his new commitments as Director of the National Mining Museum Hall of Fame and Mining Museum in Leadville. So we have a couple of alternative events for you to attend this month -

Feb. 21-22-23 - Denver Gem and Mineral Guild Show at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Friday 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun 20-5. Free admission. 50th Anniversary show, so lots of great exhibits by club members!

Or for those in the southern climes
Pete suggests that you attend the "Stories in Stone" symposium at the Colo. Springs Pioneer Museum, Sat. Feb. 22.
Sat., Feb. 22, “Stories in Stone Symposium”
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
, 215 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs. Five featured lecture presentations on Ordovician fossils, dinosaurs and their tracks, Baculite Mesa, Lake Florissant, and more activities. Free admission; for more info call 719-385-5990 or see
I'll add the detailed program:
10:00 a.m., Tom Nolan, Ordovician fossils and observations in deep time
11:00 a.m., Lou Taylor, The Morrison Formation and its dinosaurs
1:00 p.m., Amber Cain, Dinosaur tracks of the Dakota Sandstone
2:00 p.m., Malcolm Bedell, Jr., Life in the Pierre Shale of Baculite Mesa
3:00 p.m., Conni O'Connor, Reconstructing Lake Florissant

All excellent speakers!

See you in March at Woodland Park for Bob Knapp's talk!

Contact BETH at cloverknoll@comcast.net

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Get the Rockhounding & Fossil Collecting BLM Colorado brochure

Go to www.blm.gov and then search any western State by typing it into SEARCH for additional information.

Edited by Ray Eklund
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Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Colorado Springs, Colorado


Just north of Colorado Springs and on the EAST side of I-25. Tours of how miners worked underground and see A Frames and heavy equipment that are in working condition outside, on display. On special occasions, you can watch the WMMI fire up the steam engines and you can watch this equipment come to life.

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AFTER contacting and checking out the information provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) purchase a map of the State you have an interest.

DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer (State which you are interested) Get them ALL if you are traveling in a larger area.

Back Roads, Public Lands, Private Property, GPS Grids, Outdoor Recreation, National Forests, BLM, National Grasslands, Parks, Biking, Fishing, Campgrounds... 1 inch is 2.5 miles scale of maps

ADVICE: When you find an area you want to visit for any recreational activity... stop at the local BLM Office and purchase one of their smaller scale maps which are outstanding. They show which if public lands and which is private land. You can also inquire with the BLM as to what is permitted AND ask where to find petrified wood and agate! They are very helpful. You can also get some of the best Rocky Mountain well water at the National Forest Service offices in the Western USA.

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Permits to enter Public Lands?

You do not need a permit to camp, hike or travel through Public Lands. You do for National Parks, State Parks and possibly selected archaeological or paleontological areas that are set aside for protection. If you are not a US Citizen... you are also permitted to enter public lands at will. The "Welcome Sign" is out for all adventurous individuals. There are 245 million acres in the western USA that are controlled by the BLM.

National Forest office also offer information and maps to navigate the National Forest region of choice.

National Grassland offices also provide information and maps for sale.

Camp Grounds may have water, picnic tables and modern dry camp restrooms. Some may be more primitive. There is a very low and reasonable daily cost to camp. It is mostly self service and under the honor system. Many campgrounds are along clear flowing rivers and creeks in the mountains.

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IF you have a question about any of my previous statements... please post the question on the Forum.

IF you are uncertain about what you can and cannot do on public land... check the DeLorme Atlas if it is BLM, National Forest, National Grasslands or State Land. Then contact THAT particular regional office. All addresses and telephone numbers are posted by search www.google.com.

Many geological sites have guided tours for a minimal cost to you and family. They are excellent choices to understand the geology, mineralogy and paleontology of the area. These places are also found in the DeLorme Atlas of the State you are visiting.

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Private Property is PRIVATE PROPERTY.

It is no different trespassing on a 25,000 acre ranch or someone's yard next door to you.

BUT... if you find an area you would like to walk over and explore... go to the COUNTY LAND RECORDER'S OFFICE. Many Counties will print out a County property owners map for you. I have done this in Wyoming and then know WHO TO ASK FOR PERMISSION. Explain to the Land Owner or the Land Manager who resides at the Ranch what you want to do and if they would give you permission to enter their property. ASK clearly about where their property ends and another Ranch begins. If the Property Owners says NO, thank them and wish them a good day.

You might also get their name and address to write to them for a possible visit in the future. These western land owners do not owe you anything. Be polite and courteous.

First Visits: It is always a big plus if the husband and wife go to the Ranch House together to ask. Families are well accepted than a group of guys wanting to "dune buggy" the back roads. The Rancher is apprehensive that you might get hurt by falling off an outcrop, a bull decides you are not welcomed, or the cattle use your vehicle to scratch themselves. Make it know you will sign any waiver from injury or property damage... no argument. There could be rattle snakes where you least expect them. The two rut road might have been undercut and when you drive over it, the road collapses and you have to dig or have yourself towed out of it.

Again. Be respectful. The Rancher might seem a bit rough on the edges, but their heart is in the right place. If you are arrogant and disrespectful... I don't even want to talk to you. If you or your wife is the better conversationalist... let them do the talking and you do the listening and step in when necessary.

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Fossil Hunting Trips.... I took these messages and cleaned them up. If you would like to follow future posts and have a question... go to the Western USA: Camping, Exploring and How to Proceed Smartly discussion.

If you plan to visit the "Western USA" in the future... post at Fossil Hunting Trips. You need not speak fluent English to participate, either. I have not mastered English myself, so there are no poorly written questions or responses. Even if it is just to experience the fresh air and scenery for photographs... it will be well worth your visit!

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