Dinosaur Ridge has been a part of North America for more than a 100 million years, and since its accidental discovery in 1937, it has left its tracks in the hearts of Coloradoans. Now, Friends of Dinosaur Ridge are trying once more to recommend a much needed track cover to help preserve the over 300 dinosaur footmarks at Colorado’s most infamous geological site.
Joe Temple, executive director of Friends of Dinosaur Ridge (FODR) has been working to maintain and preserve Dinosaur Ridge since 1989, when Temple co-founded FODR. Since the discovery of the erosion a decade ago, Joe Temple, along with Sam Bartlett, chair of preservation committee, jumped on discussions for preserving the tracks.
“It’s our number one priority,” said Joe Temple.
When FODR constructed a track cover in 2010, county commissioners did not want the then less aesthetic cover to spoil the protected mountain backdrop. “We fully support their concerns,” said Temple.
He is confident however that FODR can protect the mountain backdrop and the tracks with a newly designed $ 3 million structure that will blend in to the guarded backdrop.
“I’m 99 percent confident that the design we have now will move forward,” Temple said after his presentation to the county commissioners.
The new proposed enclosure will contain earthly materials such as timber acting as the support columns and foundation, and native stone which help blend the structure into the site. Temple described the track cover as more organic as opposed to the previous proposed track site described as industrial.
“Golden has got a very long history of preservation, specifically paleontology,” said Nathan Richie, director of the Golden History Museums.He added that he was happy to know preservation efforts were continuing.
“Being cognizant of the importance of the tracks is very important,” Richie said.
Temple was asked by county commissioners to construct a more detailed plan for the proposed track cover.
He is hoping to appear before the county commissioners with Bartlett from the preservation committee in the coming weeks.