Nature & Science
Photo by T.Scott Williams/NPS
Petrified Forest was set aside as a national monument in 1906 to preserve and protect the petrified wood for its scientific value. It is recognized today for having so much more, including a broad representation of the Late Triassic paleo-ecosystem, significant human history, clear night skies, fragile grasslands ecosystem, and unspoiled scenic vistas.
Scientific studies are on-going at the park. Paleontologists find new fossils, including new species of plants and animals, each year. Biologists study living plants and animals, including vegetation surveys and reptile, amphibian, and mammal projects. Air quality, weather, and seismic monitoring stations constantly generate new data.
For anyone interested in the science going on in parks across the Southwest, we urge you to visit the Learning Center for the American Southwest . The Learning Center of the American Southwest (LCAS) is a partnership dedicated to understanding and preserving the unique resources of the American Southwest through science and education. This web site delivers information about the natural and cultural resources of the region and about scientific activities underway. Petrified Forest National Park is a member of this partnership.
Did You Know?
Petrified wood was so abundant when the ancestral Puebloan people were living in the area that they used it not only for stone tools but also as building material, such as the "brick" used in Agate House at Petrified Forest National Park.