March 4, 2009--
Linda Fitch of the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust (above left) scans for fossils in October 2005 at the Chazy Fossil Reef, a 450-million-year-old site that runs through two counties in Vermont
and New York State
. The reef and examples of its bounty are pictured at right.
The ancient reef, believed to be the oldest biologically diverse fossil reef in the world, was designated last month as a U.S. National Natural Landmark. The National Park Service bestows the title on sites that are considered significant examples of natural history as part of a program to help support landowners' and managers' conservation efforts.
In addition to the Chazy reef, the Park Service this year added a Kentucky fossil site, a rare Pennsylvania ecosystem, and a Texas cave to the list, bringing the total to 586 named landmarks.
• More Photos in the News
• Today's 15 Most Read Stories
• Free Email Newsletter: Photo of the Month
Left-hand photograph by Alden Pellett/AP; top-right photograph of Valcour Island courtesy Charles Shelley; middle-right photograph of fossil courtesy Deb DiQuinzio; bottom-right photograph of fossil courtesy Linda Fitch/Isle La Motte Preservation Trust