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FOSSILS IN VEGAS: Archaeological wonder just a short drive from The Strip

Reported by: Dana Wagner
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Updated: 5/01 9:17 am
LAS VEGAS -- One of the top archaeological sites in the world is just a 30 minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip.

In his series on southern Nevada fossils, Dana Wagner explains that without help, the site could be lost forever.

It's a fairly nondescript slice of the southern Nevada desert, but if you look closely, you can see people buried in their work.
Uncovering the past bit by bit.

Archaeology students from unlv carefully uncover things that are thousands and thousands of years old.

"It seems like it's easy," says Heather Stoller, aUNLV masters student. "I don't want to say easy, but it seems like it’s easy to find stuff out here. It's very easy to find stuff. It's eroding out of the dirt. You can hardly walk without stepping on it."

It's a blessing and a curse.

While it's easy to find, it's also easy to ruin these fossils for people in four wheel drives, four wheelers, motorcycles, and dirt bikes.

It's easy to see the tracks, where someone set up a jump next to camel bones.

There's a move afoot by several local groups to protect this area by making it a national monument as part of our national parks service.

Lynn Davis and others have big plans for this site. They'd love to build a visitors center and walking trails and get casinos involved to bring people to this tourist attraction.

"Nationals parks generate $10 for every dollar spent," Davis said. "It's actually one of the things in federal government that's a money generator. It could make money for the federal government. it doesn't make money for the feds. It makes money for the local communities."

Recently, freshman congressman Steven Horsford met with the various groups trying to protect tule springs to tour the site.

Horsford left the site impressed. This land is in his district and he's ready to introduce federal legislation to make this a national monument.

Horsford says he's hoping to get that legislation introduced this year in Congress.



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