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The need to conserve geological features and palaeontological sites is an increasingly recognized part of conservation policy in many countries. In the USA, Canada and Great Britain this need was emphasized by the discovery in the 19th century of spectacular plant fossils that were in danger of disappearing through overcollecting or through the effects of weathering. People were spurred into action by these all too obvious dangers to save the plant fossils where they had been found as ‘monuments’ or ‘records of the past’. The methodology for protection varied from one country to another through differences in both land...

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