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April, 2007. Wyomings bighorn basin Its more than just cowboys and rodeos …

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Presentation on theme: "April, 2007. Wyomings bighorn basin Its more than just cowboys and rodeos …"— Presentation transcript:

1 April, 2007

2 Wyomings bighorn basin Its more than just cowboys and rodeos …

3 The Bighorn Basin of Wyoming contains extensively documented fossil deposits dating 542 million years ago (Cambrian Period) to the present.

4 World famous localities with: - Dinosaur and marine reptile bones - Dinosaur eggshells - Dinosaur tracks and trackways - Primitive mammal fossils Located on private land as well as state and federal land.

5 Dinosaur Quarries near Shell

6 The Bighorn Basin is one of the few places in the world where the fossil record, as shown in the rocks, is uninterrupted from the demise of dinosaurs through the early diversification of mammals Source: USDI Draft Environmental Impact Statement Grass Creek Resource Area Resource Management Plan September 1994

7 20,000 to 25,000 years ago a variety of large mammals died and plummeted 85 feet into what is now called Natural Trap Cave. "It's a world-class paleontological Pleistocene deposit." "Essentially it has the entire record of the Pleistocene up until 10,000, 12,000 years ago." Source: Billings Gazette, October, 2005 Primitive Mammals Natural Trap Cave in the Bighorns Dire Wolf Saber-toothed lion

8 The Bighorn Canyon rock shelters study area contains evidence of continuous occupation by humans for over 11,000 years Source: Personal conversation with Dr. George Frison Professor emeritus of anthropology, University of Wyoming

9 Each year, major fossil discoveries are collected and removed from this part of the Bighorn Basin! Where are these Bighorn Basin Fossils?

10 Where are They? The famous allosaur Big Al, subject of the BBC / Discover video entitled Allosaur Montanas Museum of the Rockies

11 The 1934 Howe Dinosaur Quarry collection of over 4,000 dinosaur bones collected by the famous paleontologist Barnum Brown American Museum of Natural History, New York City Where are They?

12 The Howe-Stephens Dinosaur collection, featuring Big Al Two, the most complete allosaur ever discovered, and six other major dinosaur discoveries Saurier Dinosaur Museum in Switzerland Where are They?

13 Rare Jurassic-age Dinosaur Eggshell Fossils Smithsonian Institution Where are They?

14 Ancient Marine Reptile Fossils Smithsonian Institution Where are They? Ichthyosaur collected 1006 by the Smithsonian team near Shell Plesiosaur pelvis in jacket – collected 2004 by Dr. Robin OKeefe, New York

15 Why are they leaving our area? Suitable facilities and resources for preparation, storage and display of dinosaur fossils are NOT AVAILABLE!

16 Professional scientists, including world famous anthropologists, geologists, and paleontologists have conducted research and collection activities in the Bighorn Basin for over 75 years... Our Fossil Heritage is Relatively Unknown to the Average Citizen!

17 Professional Geoscientists Currently Active Here (partial list) Dr. Erik Kvale Dr. Neil Clark Kirby Siber Dr. Michael Brett-Surman Dr. Matt Carrano Steve Jabo Pete Kroehler Dr. Robin OKeefe Dr. Jack Beuthin Dr. Paul Sereno Dr. James Farlow Dr Nick Fraser Dr. Brian Dade

18 These continuing research and educational activities are only loosely coordinated among entities. Therefore The rich natural resources of the area remains relatively unknown to the people of Wyoming and to the world.


20 W E N E E D ! GeoScience Center /Museum -Display Bighorn Basin natural history - Educational resource for visitors & residents - Support Center for visiting geoscientists

21 The Bighorn Basin Geoscience Center is a new non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to geological, paleontological, and archeological research and education and to the conservation of the natural resources of the northern Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Bighorn Basin GeoScience Center

22 Cliff Manuel, Chairman President, GeoScience Adventures, Inc., Shell John Coyne, Vice Chairman President, Big Horn Federal Savings and Loan, Greybull Scott McCollough, Secretary & Treasurer Attorney at Law, Greybull Current Board of Directors

23 1.) Establish a permanent facility in the Shell Valley of Wyoming that serves as a museum and interpretive center for Bighorn Basin natural resources, and features the major fossil discoveries from this part of Wyoming. Primary Goals

24 2.) Provide a repository for type specimens, especially unique scientifically valuable fossils from the northern part of the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Primary Goals

25 3.) Educate and inspire the public with an understanding and appreciation for the significant scientific and historical values of fossil specimens. Primary Goals

26 Museum Concept Feature Major Discoveries From our Area! - The major Howe Dinosaur Quarry fossils - Allosaur Big Al Two - Camarasaurus E.T. - Diplodocus full mount & crest impressions - Apatosaurus Baby Toni - Stegosaurus Lilly - Skull Casts

27 Howe –Stephens Quarry Dinosaurs DinoRama 2006 Exhibit

28 Museum Concept Other Major Fossil Discoveries From the Area! - The Red Canyon Ranch Stegosaurus Sarah - Rare Middle-Jurassic age Dinosaur Tracks - Jurassic Marine Reptiles – Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur

29 Red Canyon Ranch Stegosaurus Sarah One of the most complete Stegosaurus ever found!

30 Wyomings Middle- Jurassic Treasure Rare Dinosaur Tracks

31 Marine Reptile Fossils Ichthyosaur collected by the Smithsonian Team Plesiosaur pelvis in jacket

32 Geology of the Bighorn Basin - depicting our rich geological history 1934 Howe Dinosaur Quarry history - detailed in the book Bones for Barnum Brown Other Major Displays

33 Over 500 Million Years of Geologic History on Display in our Area

34 Sheep Mountain Anticline near Greybull

35 The K/T Boundary The Beginning of the Mesozoic Era (near the mouth of Shell Canyon) Largest mass extinction event ever, triggering the Age of Dinosaurs The End of the Mesozoic Era (near the Greybull airport) Mass extinction event ending the Age of Dinosaurs The Age of Dinosaurs – Beginning to End!

36 The Barker Howe/ Barnum Brown/ Howe Quarry history

37 The Siber Team / Howe Quarry history

38 Displays from other institutions/entities - Smithsonian Institution - Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville - Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Iowa State University - Dartmouth College Other Bighorn Basin history - The Bentonite Story, Oil & Gas Industry - Humans in the Bighorn Basin, Guest Ranching Other Major Displays

39 Bentonite Industry Sinclair Oil financed the original 1934 Howe Quarry Expedition near Shell. This expedition inspired the famous Sinclair green dinosaur logo. Oil and Gas Industry Guest Ranching (1930s image) 2006 was the 100 th anniversary of the discovery of oil in the Bighorn Basin

40 Early Man in the Bighorn Basin

41 Wyomings Bighorn Basin

42 Deinonychus Site Bighorn Canyon Natural Trap Cave Dinosaur Site Draper Museum Howe Quarry Shell Falls Dinosaur Tracks Ancient Mammals Mammoth Sites Ancient Plants Wyo Dino Center

43 Public Awareness Campaign July, 2006 Kirby Siber exhibited several of his Howe Quarry dinosaur mounts at Dinorama-2006 in Shell, including Big Al Two, the most complete Allosaurus specimen ever collected.


45 This effectively demonstrated the need for a the Bighorn Basin GeoScience Center so that we can conserve and display our natural resources in an appropriate local setting. Public Awareness Campaign July, 2006

46 Thanks to our Dinorama Sponsors ! - Display Housing & Support – Dirty Annies Country Store - Dino Specimen Shipping & Setup – The Hideout – Saurier Museum – Black Hills Institute - Promotion, Advertising, Logistics – GeoScience Adventures - Logistical /Financial Assistance - Big Horn Rural Electric Co. - Tri State - TCT West

47 Phase Two

48 Preplanning and Site Selection - Establish a Strategic Planning Team - Pursue grants for Preplanning & Design of Museum and Exhibits. - Solicit donation of real property for museum site. - Prepare specifications for Museum and Exhibits Construction Program - Pursue funding for construction of Museum and Exhibits. Planned Activities

49 November 2006


51 Estimated Costs Museum & Exhibits: Estimated Initial Costs: Planning - $ 500,000 Property - 500,000 Construction - 3,000,000 Exhibits / Displays - 2,000,000 Grants/Donations Needed: Planning - Building / Exhibit Designs Real Property - Land, Utilities, Excavation, etc. Construction - 20,000 sq. $150/sq. ft. Exhibits / Displays - Adopt an Exhibit Sponsors

52 Annual Attendance Projection A first-class museum and interpretive center situated on U.S. Highway 14 near Shell, Wyoming, will draw an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 visitors annually, based on estimates of tourist traffic and local visitations. Other regional institutions annual attendance estimates: Shell Falls Visitor Center 50,000 (est) Buffalo Bill Historical Center 240,000 * Wyoming Dinosaur Center 32,000 * Devils Tower 450,000 * * Source – Official Museum Directory 2005

53 An estimated 350, ,000 people travel over the Bighorn Mountain through Shell on highway 14 during the summer months If just 15 % of those visitors stop at the museum, annual attendance could approach 50,000 visitors with annual income estimated at $250,000 to $300,000 Annual Income Projection

54 W H A T DO W E N E E D ? Government and Local Support: Recognition of the areas need for the museum Promotion of Wyomings natural resources Financial Assistance

55 Cooperating Entities (Potential) Saurier Museum Aathal, Zurich, Switzerland Howe Quarry Property Owners Red Canyon Ranch Property Owners Flitner Ranch State of Wyoming & Neighboring States USDI - Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Iowa State University Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville Draper Museum of Natural History, Cody National Park Service Local Businesses and Institutions W H A T DO W E N E E D ?

56 Advisory Group (proposed) Erik Kvale Ph.D. Senior Scientist, Devon Energy Corp Chris Dimock Businessman, Cody David Flitner Flitner Ranch, Shell Meredith Scott MD. Landowner, Shell Rick Magstadt Vice President Manufacturing, Wyo-Ben, Inc. Dan Close M-I SWACO John Ed Anderson Red Canyon Ranch, Shell H. J. (Kirby) Siber Director, Saurier Museum Aathal, Zurich, Switzerland James Farlow Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne Nicholas Fraser Ph.D. Curator, Virginia Museum of Natural History at Martinsville M. Brett-Surman Ph.D. Museum Specialist, Smithsonian Institution Brian Dade Ph.D.Professor of Geology, Dartmouth College Angela Botzer Production Editor, International Editions, National Geographic W H A T DO W E N E E D ?

57 What are our neighboring states doing? Montana advertises the Montana Dinosaur Trail Museums or Interpretive Centers in thirteen localities in Montana.

58 Fort Peck Museum – Montana Featuring Pecks Rex

59 Phillips County Museum – Montana Featuring Leonardo – (mummified dinosaur)

60 Utah and Colorado both advertise the Dinosaur Diamond.. What are our neighboring states doing?... A Road Map to museums and dinosaur localities in Utah and Colorado.

61 Price, Utah Museum

62 Castle Dale, Utah Museum

63 Woodland Park, Colorado Museum

64 The Black Hills of South Dakota advertises the Black Hills Museum Alliance with eleven museums in the area bordering eastern Wyoming South Dakota Museum of Geology and Paleontology featuring local rocks and fossils... Black Hills Museum of Natural History featuring the T-rex Stan What are our neighboring states doing?

65 ... The Mammoth Site – a National Natural Landmark featuring in-situ display of fossil mammoth bones

66 What is Wyoming doing? Unlike our neighboring states, Wyomings Official State Travel Website contains only general information about dinosaur sites.

67 Wyoming Visitor Center – Evanston, Wyoming 2006 (one dinosaur related brochure) Brochure for Wyoming Dinosaur Center

68 Our neighboring states are promoting their natural resources W E C A N A L S O !

69 Bighorn Basin / Big Horn Mountains There Really is a Pot of Gold here

70 January, 2007 CONTACT: Cliff Manuel, Chairman Bighorn Basin GeoScience Center 1802 Highway 14 E Shell, Wyoming Phone: ( or (866) Internet:

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