Last summer my husband and I took our two grandsons, Nico, 8, and Asher, 5, Goodson, to Dinosaur National Monument to visit the Dinosaur Museum and to camp for a few days. On the way back while camping, Nico found a “dinosaur tooth” along the river bank. He wanted to take it back to the Dinosaur Museum so the ranger there could identify it for him, but I told him that I was sure that someone at the BLM office in Meeker could help him out when we got home. When we got back to Meeker he took his “tooth” to the BLM office and they promised to identify it for him and mail it to his home in Portland, Ore., with their findings. His mom said he checked the mail every day because he knew they would keep their promise and he was not disappointed!
He received a letter from Sarah MacDonald, MA, RPA, Archaeologist and Paleontology Coordinator, Bureau of Land Management, White River Field Office here in Meeker which was addressed to “Nico Goodson, Junior Paleontologist” and which started,
‘Dear Nico, thank you for bringing your find in to the Bureau of Land Management White River Field Office! It is because of budding scientists like yourself that we are able to gain knowledge about your public land and continue to grow and learn as an organization. …It takes a keen eye to find something so small. As it turns out, this is not a dinosaur tooth, but it is still a pretty cool find! This rock could even be just as old because it appears to be a fragment of rock formed of chert. The geology in our field office is sometimes dazzling, and often does reveal dinosaurs, so thank you for keeping an eye out for us!’
The letter goes on to tell about some of the recent discoveries of dinosaur bones near Rangely, Colo., which CNCC named “Walter” and explained what Walter may have looked like and when he lived.
Sarah MacDonald’s letter to Nico ended with, ‘We have impressive fossils here in northwest Colorado—a lot of which were discovered by astute learners just like yourself! We ask that you never lose your sense of curiosity, and know that every discovery, even the size of a tooth, is a big find!’
Enclosed with the letter was the “tooth” he had found (placed in a labeled specimen envelope which was very impressive), a Jr. Paleontologist workbook with activities and fact pages, and pictures of other fossils that had been found with explanations and illustrations of what the dinosaur they came from may have looked like. Needless to say, Nico was very impressed with everything and wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up!
I just wanted everyone to know what a great staff we have at the local BLM office, including Kendall and Sarah, and recognize them for going above and beyond in making a little boy’s day! Thank you.