Some of the big news today in northeastern Arizona is the announcement that Petrified Forest National Park has purchased over 26,000 acres of private land as part of its ongoing expansion effort authorized by Congress in 2004. These new lands (the Paulsell or Hatch Ranch) mostly lie to the east of the existing park, but also includes about 8 square miles west of the park boundary. These lands are rich in fossil resources and have been worked in the past by the University of California (Berkeley), the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, and most recently by the University of Texas at Austin. The park hopes to continue these partnerships and is excited regarding the information this land acquisition will provide regarding the paleontology of the Late Triassic. Furthermore, the are strata cropping out on these lands that are not exposed within the old park boundary, significantly enhancing our understanding of the local stratigraphy.
You can read a little more about this here and here.
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