Press Conference will unveil mastodon tusk and bone from Snowmass Village at the Capitol
Resolution from Senator Schwartz will honor unprecedented Ice Age discovery
DENVER –– In the Fall of 2010, an unprecedented discovery put Snowmass Village on the map for paleontological importance; the discovery of Ice Age fossils at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village on October 14, 2010, is one of the most significant fossil finds in Colorado history. On Thursday, February 24, representatives from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science plan to bring select specimens – a leg bone and tusk from a mastodon to the capitol to display for one day only. In addition, Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) will deliver a resolution that same day to recognize the extraordinary achievements of the teams involved in the discovery, excavation, preservation, study, and promotion of the Ice Age fossils found in the Town of Snowmass Village last fall.
Members of the "Tusk Force," a local committee of leaders from Snowmass Village that is determining how to best share the scientific findings with the public, will visit the Capitol to receive the resolution along with representatives from Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and others involved with the discovery and preservation.
“This is truly an extraordinary discovery for the state of Colorado. I am so pleased to be able to bring forward this resolution to acknowledge the outstanding teamwork in managing the discovery site and ongoing preservation and study of this important find,” said Senator Schwartz, who was appointed to the “Tusk Force” based on her role as a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley for over 40 years and her representation of the area as a state senator since 2006.
Last November, during just two weeks of excavation, crews from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science recovered:
• Eight to 10 American mastodons
• Four Columbian mammoths
• Two Ice Age deer
• Four Ice Age bison
• One Jefferson’s ground sloth (the first ever found in Colorado)
• One tiger salamander
• Distinctly chewed wood that provides evidence of Ice Age beavers
• Insects including iridescent beetles
• Snails and microscopic crustaceans called ostracods
• Large quantities of well-preserved wood, seeds, cones, and leaves of white spruce, sub-alpine fir, sedges, seeds,and other plants.
By the end of the fall 2010 excavation, Museum crews had recovered approximately 600 bones and bone pieces from the Ziegler Reservoir site, including 15 tusks, two tusk tips, and 14 bags full of tusk fragments from the mammoths and mastodons, plus hundreds of pounds of plant matter. The fossils are currently being preserved in the Museum’s conservation lab in preparation for scientific study.
Who: Senator Gail Schwartz, Rep. Laura Bradford, Denver Museum of Nature and Science officials
What: Press Conference unveiling a display of Ice Age fossils from Snowmass Village site
When: Thursday, February 24, 8:15 a.m.
Where: State Capitol West Foyer