Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tule Springs Ice Age Park still needs your help

I was recently contacted by Jill, one of the founder of the Protectors of Tule Springs, who asked me to help get the work out some more regarding the proposed development at Tule Srings Ice Age Park that they are save as a National Conservation Area. The Protectors of Tule Springs vision is simple:

The preservation of one of the most “unique” Desert ecosystems in the World
• Protect the integrity of the Upper Las Vegas Wash
• Ice Age Park to include:

1. World Class Scientific Research Institute and Repository
2. Visitor Center
3. Mammoth and other fossil displays
4. Interactive Paleo area for young and old alike.
5. Paleo Library and conference rooms.
6. Paleontologists excavating on site for visitors to watch and study.
7. Escorted tours through paleo and archeological sites.
8. Endangered plant viewing areas and study.
9. Hiking areas through desert ecosystem.
10. Connectivity with Floyd Lamb Park, Tule Springs National Register Site, Shadow Ridge High School National Science Foundation, Gilcrease Paleo Camp and State Lands.

So far they have collected over 8,000 signatures, but still need some more. If you have the time and are so inclined, please feel free to sign their petition. You can find it here. For more information on why this area is worth preserving please see my pervious blog post on the subject, or you can visit the Tule Springs Ice Age Park website here.

Another problem for the Las Vegas area is the proposal to build a major beltway across the Sheep Mountain area. "The proposed action is to identify an alignment, develop a facility type, and preserve a right of way corridor for the Sheep Mountain Parkway in and near northern portions of the City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas....The proposed project would provide a link between the Clark County 215 beltway, US 95, and I-15 (approximately 22 miles). [link]"

A story in the Las Vegas Sun points out why this beltway is problematic: "In 1962, paleontologists made a rare find of prehistoric fossils in the Upper Las Vegas Wash, amid the alluvial soils of Sheep Mountain. At 438 sites along the wash, bones dating back 200,000 years lie openly on the desert surface." [link]

You can see a video on the project here, or possible see it below here (if the upload worked):

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