- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The state Land office and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science have reached an agreement aimed at protecting fossils found on state trust land.

The agreement was signed this week by Land Commissioner Ray Powell and the museum’s executive director, Charlie Walter.

The museum will serve as the repository for scientifically valuable paleontological discoveries that are made on trust land. The museum will also help manage paleontological resources in the field by supervising some excavations.

Powell says fossils found on state lands range from trilobite skeletons and dinosaur tracks to a mammoth tooth and the remains of ancient camels, mastodons and horses.

Just this week, the tusk and skull of a prehistoric animal was discovered at Elephant Butte State Park. The site is being protected while the fossils are excavated.

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