The fossil record preserved throughout the National Park Service spans more than a billion years and is documented in at least 267 park units. The discovery, collection, study, and resource management of fossils from localities which are currently within parks sometimes predate the establishment of the National Park Service and many of the parks. Public education and interpretation at parks such as Agate Fossil Beds and Tule Springs Fossil Beds national monuments and many other designated areas include information on the rich history of paleontological field work by notable paleontologists undertaken prior to the areas being preserved as national park areas. Another important historical aspect for several dozen parks involves the conservation efforts undertaken by the public and interest groups to preserve and protect these important fossil localities. The evolution of the science and methodologies in paleontology is reflected in the resource management undertaken by the National Park Service and documented in park resource management records and archives, scientific publications, and agency policy. Today the National Park Service celebrates fossils by coordinating the National Fossil Day partnership which helps to promote the scientific and educational value of fossils.

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