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Southern Utah News Front Page: September 22, 2016

Southern Utah News Front Page Photo

BLM thanks Town of Big Water

Big Water Mayor David Schmuker accepts a plaque from the BLM. From left to right, members of the original and current festival committees: Jennie Lassen, Naomi Short, Jenni Johnson, Deborah Short, Heather Rankin, Mayor David Schmuker, Chris McAlear and Merle Graffam.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument celebrated its 20th Anniversary Sunday, September 18, which was also the last day of this year’s Big Water Dinosaur Festival.  To culminate the festival, the Bureau of Land Management’s Acting Assistant Director of National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships, Chris McAlear, presented a plaque to Big Water Mayor David Schmuker in recognition of the Town’s continuous support of GSENM’s paleontology program.

In 2012, a joint BLM/Arizona State University tourism study conducted focus groups in several communities surrounding GSENM.  The meeting held in Big Water was attended by several of the town’s citizens and ultimately gave birth to the idea of a dinosaur festival.

Now in its fourth year, the festival continues to attract folks, young and old, from around the area and the country.  Several hundred people attended the events which included a presentation by Crista Sadler, a noted paleontologist from the University of California, Berkley, and author of a new book, “Where dinosaurs roamed - Lost Worlds of Utah’s Grand Staircase,” on sale this November at local GSENM and Glen Canyon NRA visitor centers; a street fair complete with dinosaur exhibits and the groundbreaking of a new exhibit at the GSENM Big Water Visitor Center

The multiple discoveries on the Monument of new dinosaur species have shed new light on what we know about the Cretaceous Period. 

Next year’s event is scheduled for September 15-17, 2017

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