Next talk in open-space series July 27

       A presentation Wednesday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m. titled “Into the Wild(life) and Vegetation” will be the second in a free educational series that's part of developing a master plan for the city's new White Acres and Section 16 open space properties.

Sharon Milito showed photos to listeners to illustrate her recent paleontology research in White Acres and Section 16 during a presentation July 13 at the Red Rock Canyon Open Space pavilion.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The talk, free and open to the public, will be given by Bill Mangle of ERO Resources, a company that is providing ecological assessments for master plan consultant Tapis Associates. The location will be at the Red Rock Canyon Open Space pavilion.
       The 45-acre White Acres and 640-acre Section 16 are both hillside lands abutting Red Rock Canyon. After two more presentations (Aug. 10 and 24), the city will hold public meetings leading up to an expected final plan in January.
       The first in the series featured Sharon Milito, a certified amateur paleontologist who has previously studied fossils in Red Rock Canyon in conjunction with City Parks. Last year, she also co-authored a book titled “Geologic Folio” on Red Rock Canyon Open Space with geologist Ken Weissenburger and historian Don Ellis.
       Before a gathering of about 40 people, she discussed her findings about prehistoric remnants in White Acres and Section 16 over a recent two-month study period.
       A big difference between these properties and Red Rock is that - even though some of the same formations continue into the adjacent White Acres and Section 16 lands - Red Rock was quarried extensively over a century ago, revealing many fossils that would otherwise have stayed buried. But she did run across some remains in plain sight - at least to the trained eye - during explorations along likely rock formations in the new open-space parcels. In White Acres it's primarily ocean life, while in Section 16 there's not much except an outcropping with a concentration of dinosaur bones, she explained.
       One of her ocean finds was a 70-million-year-old shark's tooth. “If you look at it with a lens, you still see the serration,” she exulted to her pavilion listeners.
       Another oceanic discovery she was pleased with was stromatolite (now a rock, but once a photosynthetic algae with oxygen as its “waste product” - it has been found elsewhere dating back 2 to 3 billion years, when oxygen was not yet plentiful).

Westside Pioneer article