Museum eyes Blue Mesa fossils

The Museum of Western Colorado garnered a $40,000 grant from the National Park Service to salvage fossils from the banks of Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Museum paleontologists collected some material from the Curecanti National Recreation Area several years ago, which is why the park service looked to the museum for help in collecting fossil material.

Most of the work will be done at or below the waterline at the reservoir “before more of it is destroyed or eroded out,” Mike Perry, executive director of the museum, said on Monday.

“It’s all Morrison Formation stuff, not unlike what we find at Rabbit Valley,” Perry said.

The Morrison formation includes fossils from the late Jurassic Period.

The timing of the park service grant, however, is especially helpful for the museum, which has had to make cost reductions as a result of reduced funding from Mesa County.

The work at Blue Mesa Reservoir will begin next summer, Perry said.


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