"Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska" by National Park Service , public domain
Agate Fossil Beds
National Monument - Nebraska
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located near Harrison, Nebraska. The main features of the monument are a valley of the Niobrara River and the fossils found on Carnegie Hill and University Hill. The area largely consists of grass-covered plains. Plants on the site include prairie sandreed, blue grama, little bluestem and needle and thread grass, and the wildflowers lupin, spiderwort, western wallflower and sunflowers.
|National Parks Pocket Maps|
Agate Fossil Beds - Detail Map
Official Visitor Map of Agate Fossil Beds National Monument (NM) in Nebraska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Park System - National Park Units
Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Park System - National Park Units and Regions
Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Park System - National Heritage Areas
Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
https://www.nps.gov/agfo/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agate_Fossil_Beds_National_Monument Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is located near Harrison, Nebraska. The main features of the monument are a valley of the Niobrara River and the fossils found on Carnegie Hill and University Hill. The area largely consists of grass-covered plains. Plants on the site include prairie sandreed, blue grama, little bluestem and needle and thread grass, and the wildflowers lupin, spiderwort, western wallflower and sunflowers. In the early 1900s, paleontologists unearthed the Age of Mammals when they found full skeletons of extinct Miocene mammals in the hills of Nebraska -- species previously only known through fragments. At the same time, an age of friendship began between rancher James Cook and Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota. These two unprecedented events are preserved and protected here... at Agate Fossil Beds. From US 20: 22 miles south of Harrison, NE on State Hwy 29, then three miles east on River Road (paved) From US 26: 34 miles north of Mitchell, NE on State Hwy 29, then three miles east on River Road (paved). From State Hwy 71: 25 miles west on the unpaved portion of River Road. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center The visitor center is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Summer hours are May 15 through September 30. The visitor center features a large diorama of Miocene mammal fossils, 12-minute park movie, and the James H. Cook Collection of Lakota artifacts, a unique collection of American Indian artifacts gifted to the Cook family by Chief Red Cloud and his descendants. Two trails are open every day from dawn till dusk. From US 20: 22 miles south of Harrison, NE on State Hwy 29, then three miles east on River Road (paved) From US 26: 34 miles north of Mitchell, NE on State Hwy 29, then three miles east on River Road (paved). From State Hwy 71: 25 miles west on the unpaved portion of River Road. Visitor Center on the Prairie The visitor center sits in the middle of mixed grass prairie. From the Fossil Hills Trail the Visitor Center is a ship in a sea of prairie grasses. The Agate Fossil Hills and Tipis Tipis and Fossil Hills represent the two subjects that Agate Fossil Beds interprets. One of the first impressions that visitors have are the tipis and the Fossil Hills. A July Storm Passes Thunderheads are common in July. Summer storms include thunderheads and lightning and can be exciting and dangerous. Dinohyus in the Visitor Center Fossil Diorama The Dinohyus was a scavenger, nicknamed "Terrible Pig" Visitors stare in wonder at the huge head of the "apex" predator of the plains some 20 million years ago. The James H. Cook collection This buckskin shirt decorated with quills was worn by Red Cloud. Visitors agree that this shirt decorated with quillwork and worn by Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota is a priceless piece of history. National Park Getaways; Agate Fossil Beds National Monument It was a stand-off until nature intervened and ended the struggle. Exactly how remains a mystery. But in the prairie of Nebraska are numerous preserved bones in one of the world's most significant Miocene Epoch mammal sites. Fossil diorama Listening to the Eclipse: National Park Service scientists join Smithsonian, NASA in nationwide project A solar eclipse is visually stunning, but what will it sound like? NPS scientists will find out by recording sounds in parks across the USA. An NPS scientist installs audio recording equipment in a lush valley at Valles Caldera NP. Prescribed Fire used to Remove Invasive Species and Reduce Hazardous Fuels Agate Fossil Beds National Monument conducted a prescribed fire in the mixed grass prairie and wetlands of the Niobrara River basin. The goals of the approximately 670-acre burn were to decrease fuel loading and the presence of invasive plant species in and around the floodplain. Fire serves as a natural, and necessary, control on the buildup of plant matter and invasive plants. wildland fire fighter igniting a prescribed burn Plant Community Monitoring at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument The lush valley and remote rocky outcrops at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument are home to over 363 plant species. Native plant diversity is moderate in the mixed-grass prairie at the park compared to other grasslands in the region. Monitoring can track changes to plant communities over time, as well as document species of management concern. Close up of a plant with long oval green leaves and small cream, slightly fuzzy flowers Landbird Monitoring at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument A mix of large swaths of ungrazed, mixed grass prairie, and the broad floodplains of the Niobrara river, has created wonderful habitat for wetland birds. Land bird surveys have been conducted at Agate Fossil Beds NM since 2012 A bird with bright yellow throat, perched on a fence post, singing Bat Projects in Parks: Northern Great Plains Inventory and Monitoring Across six Northern Great Plains parks, education and outreach for bats was conducted. View of Badlands National Parks unique rock formations in the distance NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. park landscape Bat Acoustic Monitoring at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is a 3,058-acre park that is primarily mixed-grass prairie, but there are small groves of old cottonwoods in the floodplain of the Niobrara River that provide good roosting and foraging habitat for bats. We monitor bats using acoustic recorders to understand their current status and to detect long-term changes in bat populations. A bat resting upside-down on a tree trunk Wind Cave National Park, Nebraska National Forest Join to Teach Firefighters Ignition Operations Course In May 2014, students of wildland fire and fire management from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Nebraska Forest Service, South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pheasants Forever, and private contractors learned key principles of firing operations in the wildland and prescribed fire environments at a cooperative presentation of the S-234, Ignition Operations course, at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy in Ft. Robinson, Nebraska. Northern Great Plains Annual Brome Adaptive Management Project Management and restoration of high quality, mixed-grass prairie to the NPS units has proved difficult and complex. The Annual Brome Adaptive Management project (ABAM) is attacking this problem through a cooperative effort. A firefighter uses a driptorch to ignite dried grasses while dark smoke billows behind. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: Prairie Ecology of the Badlands Badlands National Park is home to the nation's largest expanse of mixed-grass prairie. Here, plant species from both short-grass and tall-grass prairies mingle to create a unique home, well suited to many animals which call the park home. roots of tall yellow grasses penetrate into light brown soil beneath a cloudy blue sky. Series: Badlands Geology and Paleontology Badlands National Park is well-known for its geology and paleontology. Fossils found in the park range from 75- to 28-million years old and many are in excellent condition. The flat-lying layers of the park's formation represent classic sedimentary rock layers. a layered badlands butte's jagged edges reach into a bright blue sky. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Plant Community Monitoring in Northern Great Plains Network Parks Plant communities are essential components of all major ecosystems. Plants are the ultimate source of food for other organisms and the main source of organic material in soil and water. They also influence climate and provide the scenery that park visitors enjoy. The NPS Northern Great Plains Network monitors the number, identity, and relative abundance of plant species, as well as their horizontal cover and vertical structure, to determine the health of park ecosystems. Two people sitting on the ground looking at plants Women & Paleontology in the Badlands Although Badlands National Park is proud to employ many female paleontologists today, this scientific field was not always accepting of women. In this article, learn about how women's roles in paleontology have changed over years of Badlands research. a woman in a white lab coat uses a small pick while working on a baseball-sized fossil skull. Paleogene Period—66.0 to 23.0 MYA Colorful Paleogene rocks are exposed in the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park and the badlands of Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks. Extraordinary Paleogene fossils are found in Fossil Butte and John Day Fossil Beds national monuments, among other parks. fossil skull with teeth expsoed Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Top 10 Tips For Visiting Agate Fossil Beds Make your visit to Agate Fossil Beds enjoyable, educational and safe with these top 10 tips from our rangers! Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Things to Do in Nebraska Things to do and trip ideas in Nebraska national parks. Steep bluff with pink sky above and yellow leaves below. Series: Things to Do in Midwest National Parks There is something for everyone in the Midwest. See what makes the Great Plains great. Dip your toes in the continent's inland seas. Learn about Native American heritage and history. Paddle miles of scenic rivers and waterways. Explore the homes of former presidents. From the Civil War to Civil Rights, discover the stories that shape our journey as a nation. Steep bluff with pink sky above and yellow leaves below. Managing Invasive Grasses at Northern Great Plains Parks Non-native plants don't stop growing at a park's boundary. It takes a cooperative effort to control their spread. Volcanic Ash, Tephra Fall, and Fallout Deposits Volcanic ash, pumice, and tephra ejected in volcanic eruptions ultimately falls back to Earth where it covers the ground. These deposits may be the thin dustings or may be many tens of feet (meters) thick near an eruptive vent. Volcanic ash and tephra can present geohazards that are present great distances from the erupting volcano. photo of a bluff with exposed fine-grained volcanic ash and pumice. Bats: A Junior Ranger's Perspective Every few years, researchers from the University of Wyoming's Biodiversity Institute monitor and study the bat population at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. In 2021, a few lucky junior rangers tagged along and learned how to catch and collect data safely from these amazing mammals. Read what one of them had to say in her article about the experience. A small, brown bat with pointy ears and black wings shows its two white fangs on its bottom lip. Series: Geologic Time—Major Divisions and NPS Fossils The National Park System contains a magnificent record of geologic time because rocks from each period of the geologic time scale are preserved in park landscapes. The geologic time scale is divided into four large periods of time—the Cenozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, Paleozoic Era, and The Precambrian. photo of desert landscape with a petrified wood log on the surface How a Flower and Fish Changed the Niobrara River People planted yellow iris and stocked northern pike in the river for beauty and sport. The iris altered the river channel, and the pike ate the native fish. Man holds a Hess sampler while standing in a river surrounded by lush green vegetation