page provides an introduction to some fossil plants & insects found
in the Upper Parachute Member of the Green River Formation exposed
at Douglas Pass, CO. The images were taken 7/5/2003 during an excavation
organized by the Western Interior Paleontological Society (WIPS) under
a permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction Office.
This field trip is an annual event conducted by WIPS member Michael Graham.
All rare specimens are placed in the permanent repository at the Denver
Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS). The fossil plants of the Parachute
Creek Member (exposed in western Colorado and eastern Utah) will be the
subject of an illustrated atlas to be published by the DMNS.
I was fortunate to experience something known as "The Luck of the Split" at Douglas Pass on 7/5/2003. Collectors have scoured the area heavily for about 4 decades. But, to my knowledge, nobody has ever found the specimen shown below. This is only my 2nd trip to Douglas Pass, so I feel somewhat undeserving of such a prize when others have collected there for years - but, alas, the Luck of the Split.
The WIPS field trip was fortunate to have clear skies and temperatures in the 70's and 80's. I've tried to identify plant species when known, but I'm not an authority in this area by any means. If you see errors or can provide an identification, please contact me.
Cooperating institutions and key contacts:
A common find in the Parachute Creek Member.