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Contact: David Elkowitz, 432-477-2800
Big Bend National Park (BBNP) proposes to construct a new paleontological and geological exhibit near the current fossil bone exhibit site along Highway 385 (Park Route 11), eight miles north of the Panther Junction Visitor Center. The purpose of the proposed project is to develop a fossil exhibit that will properly interpret the rich paleontological and geological history of Big Bend National Park by displaying casts of important fossil specimens, engaging a broad range of visitors, and providing an educational opportunity to interpret the fossil story of Big Bend National Park. The existing fossil exhibit is incomplete, difficult to access, and limited in content. It is a small rock display structure that holds few fossil replicas and only tells a small piece of the park's greater fossil story.
Big Bend National Park is initiating an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider any potential impacts to natural and cultural resources that may result from the proposed project. The National Park Service will be gathering input from park staff, other agencies, and the public to consider the potential effects of constructing a new fossil exhibit. BBNP intends to comply with both Section 106 and EA public notification requirements. Actions being considered include: constructing appropriate structures to house the exhibit and replica specimens; building an accessible trail to the structure(s); rehabilitating the lower portion of the existing trail; constructing a rock garden and children's exploration area; installing wireless internet; expanding the current parking area to include a turn-around area for larger vehicles; and removing or repurposing the existing fossil display structure. A parking lot, picnic shelter, and restroom already exist at the site.
Big Bend National Park will hold two public meetings to discuss the need for a new fossil exhibit. Park representatives will be present to discuss the process and listen to your ideas:
Terlingua, TX - Terlingua Community Center on Tuesday, April 30th, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Alpine, TX - Gallego Center Conference Room (129), Sul Ross State University on Thursday, May 2nd, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/bibe or mailed to the park at the following address:
Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones
ATTN: Construct Fossil Exhibit - EA Comments
Big Bend National Park
P.O. Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Comments submitted to the website or by mail are welcome at any time; however, they should be received no later than May 21st, 2013.