Utah gets two new state parks, including one named for Utahraptor

Over 40 states of Utah parks, from Antelope Island to Goblin Valley, bear witness to the region’s fascinating and diverse landscapes. Now like Travel + Leisure reports, the state adds two more: Utahraptor State Park and Lost Creek State Park.

the bill, signed into law by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox in mid-March, not only made the official designation official – it also allocated $ 36.5 million for park renovations and development. Both places are already very popular places. Lost Creek State Park will be located around the Lost Creek Reservoir, where people love fish for rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. And Utahraptor State Park, near Moab in eastern Utah, is frequented by hikers and campers.

Utahraptor State Park in particular could benefit from its newly acquired state park status (and funds). The area includes the Dalton Wells Quarry, where the earliest fossils of an unknown velociraptor-like dinosaur were earthen in 1975. The creature was not named until the early 1990s, when paleontologist James Kirkland excavated other bones and realized they belonged to an as yet unidentified species. After briefly playing with the idea of ​​naming him Spielbergi– hoping that a certain jurassic park the director could be interested and shell out money for research – they decided Utahraptor ostrommaysi. The name paid homage paleontologist John Ostrom, who helped make the connection between birds and carnivorous dinosaurs; and Chris Mays, president of a dinosaur robotics company called Dinamation International Corporation.

Utahraptor ostrommaysi, which became The official 2018 Utah state dinosaur is far from the only prehistoric species found in Dalton Wells’ quarry. According to Lee Shenton, representative of the Friends of Paleontology of Utah, making the quarry part of a state park will hopefully help protect it from vandalists. “We would especially like to see not only that these paleontological resources are protected and preserved, but that there is an opportunity to provide some kind of display in the future that can show these many very important fossils that have been found here,” does he have Told The Salt Lake Tribune in February.

Utahraptor State Park is also home to remains of more recent history. In the 1930s, part of the land was used for a Civilian conservation body (CCC), part of a New Deal program that employed young men to maintain the country’s parks. The camp closed in the early 1940s and by January 1943 it was restored as a prison camp known as the “Moab Isolation Center”. There, the War Relocation Authority jailed dozens of Japanese Americans it had deemed “troublemakers” after a riot at another prison camp in California. The WGA then transferred them to a larger prison camp in Arizona a few months later.

There is a marker pen on the site with a little information about the CCC camp and the prison camp; It remains to be seen whether state park officials will budget funds for a different memorial.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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