|Carole Jones with Eolambia/caroljonesi as it is placed on the site at the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden.|
Will life sized dinosaurs be coming to Emery County? If the Museum of the San Rafael board and the Emery County Economic development council can come up with the funding for the placement of three life-sized dinosaurs then they will indeed roam the county again.
Dinosaurs have long been of interest in the county, but the county has not capitalized upon the dinosaur and what it can do for the county. Emery County dinosaurs have been shipped worldwide. Currently a major renovation of the Cleveland/Lloyd dinosaur quarry is taking place with plans for a reopening in August.
Ramal Jones renowned dinosaur seeker is on the museum board and spearheading the effort to acquire the life-sized specimens for the Museum of the San Rafael grounds. His plans include placing the dinosaurs on the south lawn of the museum with walkway paths inbetween the specimens. Jones has been working to write a grant proposal to submit to various entities in hopes of garnering grant dollars to help with the project. Estimates of $100,000 for the dinosaur trio is the figure the board is trying to raise.
In the recent economic development planning meeting Jones presented the idea to the council and was met with very favorable comments from those present. He said, "The Museum of the San Rafael could increase visitorship and interest with the addition of three life-sized dinosaurs built by artists. These dinosaurs are found in the Swell."
Jones said the museum should take advantage of the interest in dinosaurs and use them as an educational tool and promote Emery County as a destination for dino education.
Janet Petersen, museum director said that dinosaurs are a legacy for the county. Kathleen Truman, economic development council, pointed out that a partnership is needed between the museum and the economic development council to promote dinosaur tourism and paleontological camps. "It is a legacy of Emery County and we ship dinosaurs all over the world. There are a lot of adults interested in paleontology as well and we might be able to put together a package that includes adults," said Truman, "Our unique paleontology is like a storybook that has great potential for the county."
Truman also said that grants and any donations received can be taken care of through the Emery County Foundation where tax credits are also available.
In Jones' grant application he explained, "The Museum of the San Rafael is a premier museum dedicated to preserving and displaying to the public, the historical and prehistoric life that is found in Emery County. The San Rafael Swell up-lift and subsequent erosional process has created one of the most scenic and colorful landscapes found anywhere and draws a large number of visitors to Emery County.
"The erosional process also laid bare the paleontological history from the early Triassic age 245 million years ago to the later Cretaceous age 80 million years ago.
"In this paleontological record of 165 million years, there is abundant fossilized remains of prehistoric life that has drawn scientists from all over the world to study it. Eleven new dinosaurs have been found in Emery County over the last 12 years. These new dinosaurs are Cretaceous age dinosaurs that are filling large gaps in the knowledge of the prehistoric life that lived on this earth 95-145 million years ago," said Jones.
The three dinosaurs include the Acrocanthosaurus/atokenis which is a large 40 foot carnivore dinosaur, a large 30 foot hadrosaur named Eolambia/caroljonesi and a smaller armored dinosaur named Animantrax/ramaljonesi are the dinosaurs planned for the museum.
Anyone interested in becoming involved in the dino quest should contact Janet Petersen at the Museum of the San Rafael at 381-5252.