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Petrified Forest National Park Adds Thousands Of Acres

A view of the park from Kachina Point from a photo taken on November 1, 2013.
(Photo courtesy of @PetrifiedNPS)
A view of the park from Kachina Point from a photo taken on November 1, 2013.

The Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona has expanded its boundaries. More than 4,000 acres of land were officially added to the park on Monday.

The land was purchased about a year ago by The Conservation Fund thanks to contributions from the National Parks Conservation Association and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Petrified Forest Park spokesman Brad Traver said last summer researchers unearthed a well preserved two-foot long skull of a dinosaur that’s related to the modern day crocodile on the property. He said the site also includes other ancient treasures. 

"There's a Triassic era, 200 million year old, clam bed that is on these lands that will be an attraction that we will be able to direct people to once we have access figured out and the old fences removed and things like that," Traver said.

He said the new section of the park will open to the public sometime in 2014, and he said eventually the park service hopes to open a bike trail through that section of the Petrified Forest. 

KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Steve Shadley is no stranger to the issues shaping Arizona.