Congress has recently created the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. Located about 20 miles north of Las Vegas, the 22,000 acre site was previously under the control of the Bureau of Land Management but has now been transferred to the National Park Service thanks to the tireless efforts of the Protectors of Tule Springs.
Located in the Las Vegas Wash, the rugged landscape of the new monument offers a glimpse at what the region looked like during the Ice Age. Within the preserve, the bones and teeth of hundreds of species of mammals, rodents, amphibians and birds are well preserved, fossilized in the dirt.
The animals lived more than 250,000 years ago when Southern Nevada was home to the 12-foot-tall giant ground sloth; the American lion which was 25% larger than its African counterpart; larger ancestors of modern camels called camelops; and the 14-foot-tall Columbian mammoth, an herbivore that feasted on 500 pounds of vegetation every day.
Now that Tule Springs has gained monument status within the Park Service, officials expect a large increase in eco-tourism in the area.
Source: Las Vegas Sun