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Abstract

Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 112 mi (180 km) east of Calgary, Alberta, occupies part of a large tract of badlands along the Red Deer River valley in the semi-arid southeast Alberta plains (Fig. 1). Access is from the Trans-Canada Highway at Brooks (where all major services are available), northeastward 30 mi (48 km) on Alberta Highways 873, 554, and 551. The Park is fully operative from May 15 to September 15; camping facilities are limited with a small retail food outlet. Access to outcrop requires dry weather, and precautions should be taken for extreme heat, rough terrain and occasional rattlesnakes. Provincial regulations prohibit the extraction of any fossil material.

In terms of visitor access, the badlands are divided into two areas (Fig. 1). First, Dinosaur Park encloses 23 mi2 (60 km2) of crown land flanking the river for 16 mi(25 km) downstream from the Steveville bridge on Alberta Highway 876. It is subdivided into a small public area surrounding the campground and a Natural Preserve into which bus tours and hikes are regularly conducted by Park officials. Inquiries about further access to the Natural Preserve should be directed to Park officials (403/378-4587). Plans are underway to relocate the Park headquarters approximately 1.2 mi (2 km) upstream and to expand visitor services. Secondly, the extensive privately owned badlands that surround the Park continue eastward to the bridge crossing on Alberta Highway 884, north of Jenner. With arugged vehicle and local landowner permission, the prairie edge is reached by a network of dirt tracks

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