The National Park Service began to take an active approach to managing the monument's paleontological resources in 1983, when Superintendent Ladd opted to keep specimens recovered from the park on site. Subsequent establishment of a museum technician position eventually led to a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Land Management, something which had the NPS providing curation for fossils obtained from federal lands throughout the upper John Day Basin. This pact represented one way in which monument staff took an increasingly aggressive role in facilitating scientific research, thereby allowing the NPS to better fulfill its statement of the park's purpose.
The paleontology program s expansion and rising credibility represented an enormous change from 1978, when resource management efforts could be described as being in their infancy. Neontological (modern plant and animal) and cultural resources management meanwhile struggled to become custodial over the following 15 years. All three programs benefited from increased funding that allowed for contracted studies and, in a couple of instances, additional staffing.
Last Updated: 30-Apr-2002