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Spring 2013 Buds Two New NNLs
and Expands an Existing Site

In early April 2013, Secretary Salazar officially designated two new National Natural Landmark (NNL) sites and significantly increased the size of an existing site. Wade Tract Preserve, Georgia and Zumwalt Prairie, Oregon join the ranks of nationally significant natural areas, bringing the total number of NNLs across the country to 596. The 40-acre Garden Park Fossil Area NNL in central Colorado, was expanded to now encompass approximately 3200 acres.

NNL designation herald's the significant natural features at these sites and creates a partnership for conservation between the National Park Service (NPS) and the site landowners.

WAter Tract Preserve
Wade Tract Preserve, Photo by John Kush

Wade Tract Preserve is a privately-owned forest tract located near Thomasville, Georgia. The preserve is one of the last old-growth stands of longleaf pine left in the world and illustrates what portions of the southeastern U.S. looked like at the time of European settlement. Trees within the landmark range from saplings to well in excess of 300 years old.

Zumwalt Prairie
Zumwalt Prairie, Photo by Kyle Strauss

Zumwalt Prairie, located near Enterprise in northeast Oregon, is the best example of bunchgrass prairie remaining in North America. This large, high-quality natural area also contains aspen groves, riparian woodlands, sagebrush shrublands, and bottomland wet grasslands. The size and diversity of the site allows it to support large populations of raptors and mammals. This new landmark is owned by The Nature Conservancy and it is located within a 33,000-acre preserve.

Garden Park Fossil Area
Garden Park Fossil Area, photo shows a 1/5 size replication of the 1877 Camarasaurus supremus illustration by John A. Ryder. The original drawing was 60-feet long.

Garden Park Fossil Area, located northeast of Cañon City, Colorado, was originally designated in 1973 in recognition of the area’s rich fossil record. The expanded designation now includes five significant quarries that highlight discoveries including the three most complete Stegosaurus skeletons ever found. The Garden Park Fossil Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is among the most important and diverse Late Jurassic age fossil sites in North America.

The NNL Program is the only natural areas program of national scope to encourage the preservation of the best remaining examples of the nation's biological and geological features in both public and private ownership. The federal designation imposes no new land use restrictions that were not in effect prior to designation.

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Last Updated: June 10, 2013