NPF Impact Grant Funded HAVENS Project to Restore Hagerman Fossil Beds

Students capturing a bark rubbing
Students learned about ecological conservation while restoring wildfire-affected land in Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument contains the largest concentration of Hagerman horse fossils in North America. The monument is also internationally significant because it protects the world's richest known fossil deposits from the late Pliocene epoch, about 3 to 4 million years ago. More than 200 species of plants and animals have been found! These represent the last glimpse of time that existed before the Ice Age, and the earliest appearances of modern flora and fauna.

In August 2010, the Long Butte wildfire burned more than 75 percent of the park, resulting in low quality habitats in the area. Using an NPF Impact Grant, the HAVENS project was created to restore areas of low habitat quality located in the park .

Local students planted seedlings, studied diversity, and cultivated the burn site as part of classroom enrichment. In the end, students and visitors to the site learned about key ecological principles, especially the importance of conservation.

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