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Re: fossil degradation

>There have been references to the degradation that SUE will suffer
>by not being in an atmospherically controlled environment.
>Could someone elaborate on what happens and what information will
>be lost?

Let me add my two cents worth to what is obviously a very complex issue as
the post on the whole legal morrass illustrated yesterday.  As you can see
from the whole issue there are many parties, with many vested interests in
Sue (ie Souix Tribe, Landowner, BHGSI, US. Government, etc.). I know very
well the folks at the South Dakota School of Mines who are taking care of
Sue. I also know the Larsons somewhat from BHGI, who by the way got their
training from some of the same folks at the South Dakota School of Mines
and Tech whom I work with each summer.So I want to share a little of the
perspective on the fossil degradation issue from the point of view of those
at the South Dakota School of Mines and Tech who are caring for it.

In spite of claims to the contrary Sue is being cared for by the School and
they strongly feel that there is no danger of the pyrite degradation that
is being touted as a danger to Sue. It is their claim that the Larson's at
the Black Hills Institute have promoted a number of issues in their claim
to get Sue back which are not entirely true or in some cases are out and
out fabrications. The danger to Sue from pyrite disease is (in their
opinion) one of the misleading issues being pushed to gain sympathy for
return of Sue to the BHGI. My friends at the SDSMT claim that they have
looked into the issue, and that they are monitoring Sue carefully and that
the bones do not have the pyrite problem whatsoever. I cannot verify this,
but must take their word on this of course, but they too have a vested
interest in seeing that Sue is cared for since it is so valuable

My whole point in this post is not to prove that  one side or the other is
right but to point out that the SDSMT folks are concerned for Sue---in
spite of what the Feds did. They also feel that the manner in which the
Feds handled things is wrong, but they participated so as to ensure that
Sue would be properly handled. Sue is currently in hands that also care for
it, even if no study is currently being allowed. And most importantly the
whole issue is clouded by many sides, each with claims on Sue and each
using somewhat questionable info to promote their own positions. Please
keep that in mind when you read this.

Also many of the sources I have seen listed are newspapers and magazines.
As we all well know the press is not the best source of unbiased info. They
look for the controversial, and the outspoken. So please take what has been
quoted from them with a grain of salt. I was glad to see the post about
what happened with the tribe, landowner, US, and all other parties in terms
of legal claims and changing claims. That post is probably the best summary
of what I have learned firsthand from working with some of the folks
involved in the controversy.

  Russ Jacobson                     INTERNET:jacobson@fred.isgs.uiuc.edu
  207 NRB, 615 E Peabody            217-244-2426   Home Phone: 217-384-6983
  Illinois Geological Survey         DINOSAUR RUSS: who lives, eats,
  Champaign, IL 61820                breathes and smells dinosaurs!!!
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