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Thread: Dinosaur Tracks Stolen From Moab Area

  1. #1

    Dinosaur Tracks Stolen From Moab Area

    This... makes me just as mad as the morons who toppled the Goblin Valley formation.

    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=28784448&nid...&s_cid=queue-6
    Are we there yet?

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  3. #2
    Jurassic age dinosaur tracks stolen from Moab trail, officials say
    February 20, 2014


    MOAB — A 190-million-year-old dinosaur track was reported stolen from a trail in Moab Wednesday, officials said.

    The track was lifted out of Jurassic age Navajo sandstone in the Hell's Revenge area, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The missing track was noticed by a tour guide for Moab Cowboy Country Outdoor Adventures, who reported it to the BLM.

    “You can’t assign a monetary value to it — they are priceless, they are one-of-a-kind, individual tracks that a dinosaur made 190-million years ago and they can’t be replaced once they’re gone and stolen," said BLM district paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-Foster. "(Theives) steal them scientifically from context, they steal them from the public from enjoying them and they steal them from all of us Americans who own them as federal property.”

    Hunt-Foster said the incident is still under investigation, but that it appears the track block was lifted out. There are several other track blocks in the area.

    The tracks were located next to a popular off-roading area, she said.

    “A lot of the guides will pull off and show people the dinosaur tracks that are there on the cliff side so all of the public can enjoy them and unfortunately one of these guides who is very familiar with the tracks recognized that one of the blocks had been stolen and reported it to us," Hunt-Foster said.

    The person responsible for the theft could face fines and a potential jail sentence, she said.

    "What a lot of people don’t understand or know is that these fossils are protected under federal law and so there are civil and criminal penalties associated with this theft," Hunt-Foster said.

    She said the track block would have been difficult to carry because of its weight, but that the the spot is easy to access because it is on a designated jeep trail.

    “People have often, unfortunately, been even parking on top of these things for years," Hunt-Foster said. "We’re in progress of trying to put up a barrier to keep people from parking on these tracks and to be more aware of them and the tracks are actually right on a cliff edge.”

    The BLM does not currently have any leads in the investigation. Anyone who would like to report suspicious activity can call 435-259-2100.

    Contributing: Mary Richards

  4. #3
    Hopefully it wasn't the scouts...


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  6. #4
    Madder, even.

  7. #5
    As a pure side-by-side comparison, this is worse. Odds are good we'll never catch this guy. That piece of history will go to someone's private collection and be rarely seen and appreciated. It's a selfish, even malicious act that hurts us all. As for our friend in Goblin Valley, that was also selfish, but largely ignorant and idiotic. On top of that his grand-standing allows us to make a thorough example of him.

    But in general, I'd call those who commit those stupid acts of vandalism far more damaging than these more rare thefts. Vandals disfigure everything from aspen trees to petroglyphs, to temples of all cultures, ancient and modern, to natural wonders. And they largely get away with it. And it disgusts me.

  8. #6
    Wilderness Photographer cchoc's Avatar
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    The collectors are also responsible; if they weren't willing to pay big money for stolen artifacts it wouldn't tempt the losers to steal them. You'd still have the simple vandals, of course. Where are the NSA spy satellites when we need them.
    Charlie...
    Stalking Light

  9. #7
    K so here's a question in all seriousness, for those of us who would want prosecution if the vandals were ever found...

    What's the rule or law regarding this specific act of vandalism, in this area, with this artifact? We all know the laws of Common Sense, Environmental Respect, and Decency have been broken, but when it comes to prosecutable laws, what are they?

    Don't get all emotional on me and think I support this stuff now because there wasn't a sign posted within 10 feet. I'm just asking, what's the maximum penalty that could be pushed if these vandals were ever found? Is there a general law protecting these artifacts nationwide?

    Just curious.

    And no, I don't support a damn sign posted at every site of interest either.

  10. #8
    Is there a general law protecting these artifacts nationwide?
    Yes.

    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...1-011-prpa.pdf

    I'm just asking, what's the maximum penalty that could be pushed if these vandals were ever found?
    From the above:

    A person who knowingly violates or counsels, procures, solicits, or employs another person to violate subsection (a) or (b) shall, upon conviction, be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both; but if the sum of the commercial and paleontological value of the paleontological resources involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources does not exceed $500, such person shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

    And no, I don't support a damn sign posted at every site of interest either.
    If it was on the trail I'm thinking of, there are already signs. It couldn't have been done ignorantly.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  11. #9
    FWIW: The stolen dino tracks will sale on the black market for $5,000 to $10,000.

    Personally I feel stealing the dino tracks was a big step above pushing over the rock formation. The penalty for stealing the dino tracks is clearly spelled out and defined under federal law, there is no grey area. With the Goblin Valley deal I can at least see the other side of the story, I might not agree with it, but I can at least understand it.

    Also good to know is the Antiquities Act also provides for a reward for turning in the vandals to be paid out of the fines if I'm not mistaken.

  12. #10
    Name:  25143657.jpg
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    It's only "science" if it supports the narrative.

  13. #11
    Interesting twist reported yesterday:

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=29016194

    Divers hope to find stolen dinosaur footprint still intact

    MOAB — A fossilized dinosaur footprint that was illegally pried out of the ground near Moab may still be intact, despite having been dumped in the Colorado River, according to a paleontologist with the Bureau of Land Management.

    "Instead of being just a pure sandstone, it has a limestone layer in it, which is a little harder than the sandstone itself," BLM district paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-Foster said Monday. "Its chemical compound is just a little bit different, which makes it a little more resistant (to erosion)."

    Members of the Utah Department of Public Safety's dive team spent several hours Saturday searching the Colorado River near Dewey Bridge, 30 miles east of Moab, for the rock that contains the Allosaurus print.

    "You're searching by Braille," Grand County Sheriff Steven White said, describing the conditions in the river.

    "Everything is by hand," he said. "You have zero visibility. You're dealing with changing currents. You're dealing with obstacles. It's very hazardous diving conditions."

    Search teams used sonar equipment as well but were unsuccessful in their efforts to find the fossil, which was stolen from BLM-administered lands near the Hell's Revenge trail in mid-February. Saturday's river search was launched after a suspect came forward and told authorities where the fossil had been dumped.

    "It's not what we want to hear," Hunt-Foster said. "I mean, it could always be better. We wish it wasn't in the river."

    Kent Green, who discovered and reported the theft on Feb. 18, equated throwing the fossil in the Colorado to "throwing it in the trash."

    "Why in the heck would somebody do that?" Green, the owner of Moab Cowboy Country Adventures, asked. "Why wouldn't they just leave it where somebody could find it?"

    Hunt-Foster shared Green's sense of outrage and disbelief.

    "It's real heartbreaking that that's where (the fossil) ended up," she said. "If you ever do take a fossil, you're welcome to bring it to the office and return it. Give us a call, leave it by the side of the road, call me and tell me where it is. I'd much prefer that to having it down in the river."

    White declined Monday to identify the person who told authorities where the dinosaur track had been dumped, citing the ongoing federal investigation. Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S.

    Attorney's Office for Utah, also said she could not release the suspect's name, but said charges could be filed as soon as the end of the week.

    The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, which became law in 2009, protects dinosaur tracks and prehistoric fossils from vandalism and theft. Violators face criminal and civil penalties, including fines and possible jail time.

    Business owners in Moab have offered a reward that has grown to $7,000 for information that leads to the recovery of the fossil footprint. Some of the donated money came from out of state.

    The chances the fossil will remain intact decrease the longer it remains underwater, Hunt-Foster said, but right now there are no plans for another search of the river, unless conditions change.

    "If there's a drought, you'll find me out there, up to my knees, looking for the track," she said.

    The BLM asks anyone with information on the theft to call 801-539-4082. Suspicious activity near any archeological area should be reported to the agency by calling 435-259-2100

  14. #12
    Wilderness Photographer cchoc's Avatar
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    How does a person that dumb remember to breathe?
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  15. #13
    I don't get it. The person steals the dinosaur track and then drives to Dewey Bridge and throws it in the river?
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  16. #14
    I'm guessing the dumbass realized he was about to get caught and decided to get rid of the evidence, which is actually pretty smart. But in typical dumbass fashion I'm assuming he folded under pressure and admitted his deed.


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  18. #15
    Name:  IMG_2360.jpg
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Size:  76.9 KB The rocks are dangerous LOL

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  20. #16
    How big is this rock exactly? Did they have to heave it away or did this fit in a backpack? Are there any pictures of the spot where the rock is now missing?

  21. #17
    How big is this rock exactly?
    For scale, it seems that the ruler in the photograph is a foot long.

    Are there any pictures of the spot where the rock is now missing?
    The video shows it:

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=28991584
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  22. #18

    Dinosaur Tracks Stolen From Moab Area

    Moab man indicted for theft of dinosaur track

    MOAB — A grand jury handed up an indictment Wednesday that charges a Moab man with four federal offenses related to the theft of a fossilized dinosaur footprint from BLM-administered lands in Grand County.

    Jared Frederick Ehlers, 35, was indicted on one count each of removal of paleontological resources, theft of government property, depredation of government property and destruction of evidence.

    Authorities believe Ehlers pried a fossilized Allosaurus footprint out of the ground near the Hell's Revenge off-road trail on Feb. 17. The track was later dumped off Dewey Bridge into the Colorado River, about 30 miles east of Moab.

    Members of the Utah Department of Public Safety's dive team spent several hours Saturday searching the river for the fossil but came up empty.

    "You're searching by Braille," Grand County Sheriff Steven White said earlier this week, describing the conditions in the river.

    "Everything is by hand," he said. "You have zero visibility. You're dealing with changing currents. You're dealing with obstacles. It's very hazardous diving conditions."

    Related:
    Divers hope to find stolen dinosaur footprint still intact
    A dinosaur footprints pried out of the ground near Moab may still be intact, despite having been dumped in the Colorado River, according to a paleontologist with the Bureau of Land Management.

    Saturday's river search was launched after a suspect came forward and told authorities where the three-toed dinosaur track had been dumped. It remained unclear Wednesday whether Ehlers is the person who approached law enforcement with the information.

    Calls to White and to Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Megan Crandall seeking additional information about the case were not immediately returned Wednesday.

    The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, which became law in 2009, protects dinosaur tracks and prehistoric fossils from vandalism and theft. Violators face criminal and civil penalties, including fines and possible jail time.

    A date for Ehlers' first court appearance has not been set. If he's convicted on all counts, Ehlers faces a maximum possible sentence of 45 years in federal prison.

    Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=2903...GLdWqlBGOtP.99


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