It was a perfect October morning in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. Under a deep blue sky the Black Hills rose like an island from rolling waves of grass 60 miles to the north. Curving away to the western horizon, the escarpment of the Pine Ridge resembled a rocky shoreline. Eight members of the Nebraska Land Trust’s (NLT) Pine Ridge Advisory Committee were enjoying the view as we toured a private ranch near Chadron, until we came upon a small patch of badlands where fossils could be found. As our group climbed out of the pick-ups all eyes were fixed on the ground, searching with delight for fossil snails and pieces of oreodont jaw bones.