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Bureau of Land Management stops construction due to damaged dinosaur tracks

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Posted at 7:41 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 21:41:32-05

GRAND COUNTY, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management has stopped construction at the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite after an assessment found that dinosaur tracks had been damaged due to the project.

At the end of January, FOX 13 News reported that the Center for Biological Diversity issued a "cease and desist" letter to the BLM, urging them to immediately halt the project due to damage done to the historic dinosaur track site.

Read - Conservation group accuses Bureau of Land Management of damaging dinosaur tracks during construction

Social media posts claimed that a backhoe had driven over and destroyed as much as 30 percent of the paleontological resources at the site.

In a statement to FOX 13 News last month, the BLM said in a statement in part, "During [the] effort, heavy equipment is on location, but it is absolutely not used in the protected area."

On Wednesday, the BLM reported one of their regional paleontologists had conducted an assessment of the area and preliminarily determined that "some damage occurred to dinosaur footprints at the project site," a statement from the agency reads.

As a result of the assessment and pending final report, construction work has been halted at the site. The BLM reports that before construction starts back up, they will review the recommended approaches from the paleontologist as well as survey, flag and monitor the work being done to avoid even more damage.

The statement reads in part, "The dinosaur tracks on this site tell a story from millions of years ago. The BLM has a responsibility to ensure this story is still told thousands of years from now, and the agency is committed to this future."