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BLM Proposes Protection for Allosaurus Site

BLM Proposes Protection For Allosaurus Site

SHELL, Wyo. (AP) - A federal agency is trying to protect the area where
researchers in 1991 found one of the most complete skeletons of an allosaurus
known to exist.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is proposing that 5,457 acres of federal land
north of Shell be declared an area of critical environmental concern to protect
paleontological, historic and other resources.

Under the proposal, outlined in an environmental assessment, 120 acres of the
area known as the Brown-Howe Dinosaur Area would be closed to any mining claims
to protect the area.

The skeleton of the allosaurus, a carnivorous dinosaur that lived about 150
million years ago, had been found by a private Swiss company that accidentally
strayed off of private lands it was excavating.

Because the skeleton was found on federal land, it was turned over to the Museum
of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.

The discovery has generated considerable interest in the area among the national
and international scientific communities, said Janine Terry, a Worland BLM
District spokeswoman.

But Terry said concerns have since been raised about possible mining claims or
oil and gas exploration in the area.

As a result, the BLM in 1993 adopted a two-year management plan that suspended
mining activities in the area until a planning review could be completed.

Terry said the temporary plan will remain in effect until the BLM can update its
Cody Resource Management Plan.

The agency is accepting comments on the proposal to create the area of critical
environmental concern until Oct. 18, she added.

"The whole idea of this, of course, is to welcome any additional comments we
didn't get during the initial scoping process," she said. "We're moving along on
this and we would certainly like to get this (proposal) on the way."