Hiking, kayaking, camping — gawking at stegosaurus bones? Dinosaur
fans are no strangers to museums, but at least 228 national-park areas
offer a different view: “fossils in the ground, in their natural
state,” says Vince Santucci, chief ranger for the National Park
Service. To get the word out — and help continue the recession-fueled
3.9% uptick in annual visitors, now that the economy shows signs of
bouncing back — the park service announced the first National Fossil
Day. The only downside to museum-worthy sites in the great outdoors? No
velvet ropes mean grabby tourists take home bits and pieces as
souvenirs. In fact, in 1957, Congress had to close South Dakota’s
Fossil Cycad National Monument after people stole all the surface-level
fossils of the cycad, a dinosaur-age plant. Let’s keep our hands to
ourselves, people. — RA
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