Marrs Ranch

Dr. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, explains a dinosaur dig at Marrs Ranch.Photo credit: Plains Conservation Center

Most paleontologists agree that dinosaurs became extinct about 65.5 million years ago when a giant asteroid hit the earth, throwing up an enormous amount of sediment and material. The sedimentary layer below which evidence of dinosaurs can be found is known as the K-T boundary. Recently, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science discovered that a ranch east of Denver is one of best sites in the world to study the K-T boundary.

In December 2012, The Trust for Public Land bought the 1,038-acre ranch from the Marrs family, which had owned the property for decades. The land will be added to the Plains Conservation Center's West Bijou site. Colorado Open Lands will manage conservation easements on the land, ensuring its permanent protection for grazing, environmental education, paleontological research, and wildlife observation.

Explore our work

Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.