- The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument: 40 years later
- 1969: The Yannacones see the fossils
- The litigation
- The annotated complaint
- palynologist Estelle Leopold, PhD
- The Order saving the fossil beds from the bulldozer
- Reporting the Court of Appeals hearing
- Saved In Time, Dr. Leopold’s eyewitness account of the litigation
Saving the Florissant Fossil Beds
The Florissant fossil beds are to geology, paleontology, palynology, and evolution what the Rosetta Stone was to Egyptology. To sacrifice this 34 million years old record, a record you might say written by the mighty hand of God, for 30 year mortgages and the basements of the A-frame ghettos of the seventies is like wrapping fish with the Dead Seas Scrolls.
…if someone had found the original Constitution of the United States buried on his land and then wanted to use it to mop a stain on the floor, is there any doubt…they could be restrained?
The trust doctrine returns to American law
The Florissant fossil beds litigation was the first successful effort in modern times to use the natural law concept of the public trust which characterized the Roman Law since the time of Cicero and was embodied in the natural law tradition that gave rise to the English Law of Equity during the reign of Henry II and his Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.
The following account is from Chapter 2 In Volume 1 of Yannacone’s two-volume treatise, Environmental Rights & RemediesFlorissant_ER&R_2:09_The Trust Doctrine
The Florissant Fossil Beds litigation
The annotated Florissant complaintFlorissant_ER&R_2:12_Annotated Complaint
Affidavit of palynologist Estelle LeopoldFlorissant_ER&R_2-13_Estelle Leopold
The Order saving the Florissant fossils from the bulldozerFlorissant_ER&R_2-14 Order saving the fossils