A backhoe operator expands the fossil trench at famous Lydodium Gulch, in the Middle Eocene Ione Formation, Ione Basin, western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California.Nevada--all in preparation for a joint field trip with student collecting crews from a Community College and a university on October 26 and 27, 2002. Image taken on October 25, 2002.
After paleobotanist Howard Schorn had hired, over the phone, a backhoe operator from the Ione area to widen and deepen the fossil leaf trench at Lygodium Gulch, we made arrangements to meet near the fossil locality in the late morning of Friday, October 25, 2002. There, we'd direct the backhoe operator to Lygodium Gulch. Once at the fossil locality, our backhoe operator skillfully plunged the big bucket into the leaf-bearing strata and proceeded to rip in only a few minutes of excavating prowess impressive quantities of 45-million-year old shales and sandstones from their hiding places, dumping the rocks around the perimeter of the trench so that our student collectors might easily split them and recover the significant Middle Eocene fossil flora.
Please note: All fossil localities in the Ione Formation of Amador County, California, presently occur on private property; explicit permission from the land owners must be secured before collecting fossils there.