The Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern is an Essential Area for Paleontologists
In 1988 8,865 acres of the Nambé Badlands were designatedResource Management Plan, March 1987, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque District, Taos Resource Area, BLM-NM-PT-87-006-4410 as the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to protect the internationally significant paleontological resources (fossils) found in the area.
Paleontologists later found additional fossil resources north of the 1988 Sombrillo ACEC boundaries. These findings, and identification of cultural sites, resulted in the BLM expanding the Sombrillo ACEC to 18,190 acres in 2010Draft Taos Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, June 3, 2010, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque District, Taos Resource Area, … Continue reading.
Sedimentary outcrops in the area have resulted in important discoveries of Miocene vertebrate fossils by scientists for over 140 years.
Many important fossil discoveries of extinct mammals and other vertebrates have been made in the Nambé Badlands area.
Please note that fossils in the Nambé Badlands and Sombrillo ACEC are protected under the Paleontological Resource Protection Act.
Fossils of the extinct species Sthenictis a large member of the mustelid (weasel) family have been found in the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental ConcernPhil Gensler, Gary Morgan, Scott Aby, and Garrett R. Williamson, “New Additions to the Miocene Vertebrate Fauna of the Tesuque Formation, Española Basin, New Mexico, in Paleontology on Public … Continue reading. Photo credit, Ryan Somma, Creative Commons license.
Paleontologists Have Made Significant Discoveries in the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern
The fossils researched in the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern consist mostly of vertebrates that lived during the Miocene Epoch (23.03 – 5.33 Ma), which occurred during the Neogene Period (23.03-2.58 Ma), which in turn was in the Cenozoic Era (66.0 Ma – present), inside the Phanerozoic Eon (541 Ma – present).
Important Fossil Discoveries in the Nambé Badlands
An extinct canine that lived 16 million years ago, “hyena-like” with bone-crushing teeth.