The Bureau of Land Management failed to take the necessary precautions to protect dinosaur tracks at one of the nation’s most important sites near Moab, resulting in irreparable damage — albeit minor — to several of the footprints, according to a report released last week.
The report by the BLM regional paleontologist in Wyoming said that, given the importance of the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite, the agency should have had an expert review a plan to rebuild a boardwalk and the public should be given a greater opportunity to weigh in before proceeding with the project.
Days after the project began, visitors to the site noticed tire tracks and a backhoe parked near some of the footprints and notified BLM, which halted construction.
“Even though the overall damage to the site was minimal, had the project not been stopped, it is likely that much greater damage would have occurred with increased construction activities,” according to the review by Brent Breithaupt, the regional paleontologist in the BLM’s Wyoming state office.
This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.