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Cairo moves to get fossil forest listed as a National Natural Landmark

Apr 06, 2023 12:33 pm

Liz Montgomery reports for Porcupine Soup that on April 3, the Town of Cairo voted to approve a visit from National Parks Service to the town's 387-million-year-old fossil forest, in an effort to get it listed as a National Natural Landmark. The fossil forest is an extensive root system of trees that existed during the Devonian Period millions of years ago. In 2019 a group of scientists from Binghamton University, the New York State Museum, and Cardiff University said it is the oldest fossil forest on the planet. Right now, the former sandstone quarry behind the town's highway department is not open to the public. Sylvia Hasenkopf, president of the Cairo Historical Society, discussed how long it might take for the forest to be named a National Natural Landmark, saying, “It has been my experience in working with the National Parks programs that the collection of information, the preparation of the designation packet, and the presentation to the review board takes two to three years once the process has begun in earnest." Read more about this story in Porcupine Soup.

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