Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

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gbp
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Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » May 10th, 2013, 5:13 pm

Some of the folks here know me, but for those who don't, I am the Curator of Herpetology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM).

I am in immediate need for decent roadkill for an upcoming, permanent exhibit at the NHM on L.A.'s urban biodiversity. The exhibit will include a wall with approximately 15 snake skins on it (not sheds, but actual skins), representing some of the diversity of L.A. area snakes. I would like for all the skins to come from roadkilled animals or other salvage so we not only showcase the diversity of snakes in the area but also the threats that urbanization poses to snakes.

Unfortunately, I have had limited success getting specimens and need to fill in some serious gaps within the next few weeks. So I am hoping folks here might be roadcruising in the next few weeks (rain and then warmth plus new moon---isn't everyone roadcruising this weekend?) and can pick up any DORs. I list what we need below.

For these exhibit specimens, locality data is not crucial. However, if the specimen has locality data, we will then tissue and skeletonize the specimens to accession them into the research collection. If it lacks locality data, we are still able to use it for the exhibit as long as the specimen in question has the local color pattern (e.g., I need a San Diego Gophersnake, not a Great Basin Gophersnake). Obviously the roadkill snakes for the exhibit need to be in pretty good shape so we can skin them out and prep the skin (small tears are absolutely OK--maybe even preferred, but road pizza won't work).

Additionally, I am also happy to receive other material that you want to deposit in a research collection. So donated specimens later in the season or in future years are always welcome. While on the one hand we have hundreds of local gophersnakes, kingsnakes, and rattlesnakes and they take up room, these sorts of large series can also allow a future researcher to examine things like changes in diet and parasites over the course of urbanization. So they definitely have use, and I like to tell myself that alleviates some of the depression from finding squished animals.

Any specimens that end up on the wall will almost certainly be seen by several million people before it needs to be replaced. We get about 900,000 visitors a year so probably a few hundred thousand people a year will see a specimen you might contribute. And hopefully in the process, they will learn a bit more about our local diversity.

The fine print: under the fish and wildlife laws, roadkill is treated the same as live animals. I would hope that a law enforcement officer would recognize the difference and also the importance of any salvaged animals for research, conservation, and management, and thus, not give anyone any hassles, but hopes and realities are two different things. So fishing licenses or scientific collecting permits are definitely good insurance.

Thanks much for the help. And for those who provide specimens (whether they go on exhibit or into the research collection), I am happy to show you around the research collection.


Here's what we need:
One of each species and looking for ADULTS unless noted.

San Diego Gophersnake
California Kingsnake (happy to display striped and banded forms if available)
Western Yellow-bellied Racer (would love to have adult and juvenile to show color pattern change)
Striped Racer
Common Aquatic Gartersnake (chance of a local specimen is about zero, so could be from out of area)
Coachwhip (would love to have adult and juvenile to show color pattern change)
Glossy Snake (prefer California Glossy, but would take other subspecies)
Long-nosed Snake
California Lyresnake
Ring-necked Snake
Nightsnake
Western Black-headed Snake
Western Threadsnake
Brahminy Blindsnake
Snake-look alike: California Legless Lizard

kidcury24
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by kidcury24 » May 11th, 2013, 3:09 pm

OK, where exactly would one take these road kills and who and how do we contact you to give you these specimens? Maybe a phone number to reach you or someone else. I just might have some for you. Post the information here.

gbp
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » May 11th, 2013, 11:05 pm

Kidcury, you can pm me, or email me at gpauly at nhm dot org. If you can contribute specimens, then we can figure out a time and place to meet that is convenient for you. Or if you want to come into the museum and drop them off, then I can show you around the collection at the same time.

kidcury24
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by kidcury24 » May 13th, 2013, 10:07 pm

Ok, sir. You will be hearing from me. My son and I would love a tour! Kidcury.

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lateralis
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by lateralis » May 23rd, 2013, 12:41 pm

...yep, you must have an SCP to salvage ANYTHING in CA, a fishing license does not cut it. I was just in a meeting where this topic was discussed and the requirements are very clear - SCP in hand with salvage allowances duly noted on the permit. Since an SCP can take up to 6 months to issue these days, anyone interested in salvaging DORs better get their paperwork in toute suite.

cheers

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Fundad
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Fundad » May 23rd, 2013, 2:57 pm

...yep, you must have an SCP to salvage ANYTHING in CA, a fishing license does not cut it. I was just in a meeting where this topic was discussed and the requirements are very clear - SCP in hand with salvage allowances duly noted on the permit. Since an SCP can take up to 6 months to issue these days, anyone interested in salvaging DORs better get their paperwork in toute suite.

cheers
With a Fishing License
As the Regulations and Fish and Wildlife code as it is currently written, and within the confines of legal take and legal bag limits, it is legal to take (roadkill or not) species that are legal to do so. After that time there is no code or regulation preventing gifting the animal.


Fundad

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by jonathan » May 24th, 2013, 9:27 am

You can legally tag a road-killed deer and take it home if you have a hunting license and a deer tag. Done it before myself.

Really hard to see why you couldn't do the same thing with a herp. If it's true, it's a silly, misguided rule, and I have a lot of doubt that it would be enforced in anything other than extraordinary circumstances.

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Fundad
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Fundad » May 24th, 2013, 9:34 am

I hoping our chapter members that live in this area will help out and keep an eye out for Greg.

With a fishing license it is legal, within the confines of legal take, and bag limits..

I ll make a DOR run or two this weekend myself..

Lets rock it Cali members..

Fundad

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Brian Hubbs » May 26th, 2013, 4:08 pm

A fishing license to salvage roadkill...unbelievable...CA F&W has got to be one of most idiotic agencies on the planet...(just my opinion as a former Californian, I have no idea if AZ has the same rule...I never pick up roadkills...I just photograph them and put them in the database :lol: ) :roll:

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 26th, 2013, 5:28 pm

I recently was approved DOR salvage permission in TX, but that's only because TX does not allow people to pick up herps on roads in the first place--living or dead (since 2007, anyway). :?

Seems to me, if it's legal to pick up a herp in CA from the road without any special stamps/endorsements beyond what the standard fishing license authorizes, it shouldn't matter whether said herp is alive or dead.

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Post by craigb » May 30th, 2013, 11:37 am

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by chris_mcmartin » May 30th, 2013, 3:50 pm

craigb wrote:Interesting to hear that about Texas though !
I must also emphasize: I am required to deposit any such salvaged DORs to a museum and get an accession form for each, so I can fill out an annual report on exactly what DORs were submitted. Texas is still a little "over the top" after their blanket road ban 6 years ago, but we're slowly clawing our way back.
Knowing me I'll get a ticket for stopping to photograph a DOR...... :lol: :lol: :lol: :shock:
I would fight that tooth and nail if it were to happen. Unfortunately it's difficult to do so for out-of-staters so they usually just grudingly pay the ticket, resulting in precedent being set for those who follow.

gbp
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » May 30th, 2013, 8:03 pm

Jonathan picked up on the whole issue of needing licenses for roadkill. The regs for herps, or at least the justification for the regs, are basically a carry-over from the regs for game animals. How does LE know what is or isn't roadkill, especially if a game animal is already quartered. If a hunter bags over the legal limit of deer, for example, he might just claim one was a roadkill if it was legal to salvage roadkill. Hence, the regs that you have to tag every animal in your possession, or in cases where they are not tagged, that the total number in possession must be under bag limits. Does it make sense for herps? Well, no, not at all, because nobody is going to profit off of a roadkill herp. I have talked with CA DFW about this in the past and I will do so more in the future. It is of course counter to the goals of the CA DFW to not allow the collection and donation of DORs to public museums where those animals can then be used for conservation oriented research. So I am hopeful for change in the future, but for now, technically you need a fishing license.

The permit issue is actually more confusing than the debate here would suggest. Many public museums, including my own, have permits from CA DFW that allow accepting most salvaged animals (there are exceptions for marine mammals, mountain lions, some birds, and a few other taxa). So while I can legally accept most salvaged animals, it may not be technically legal for the person to salvage it in the first place (even though I would argue it is the right thing to do in terms of promoting conservation, science, etc).

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 1st, 2013, 7:43 pm

I hope you succeed in talking sense to them, but given my years of watching the Dept I would be very surprised if they ever follow common sense. It just doesn't seem to be in their nature. Talk to Brian McGurty sometime about his experience trying to convince a room full of wardens that road collecting has nil effects on local populations. His logic wasn't received by open minds. For more recent non-sense, just look at the new species protected in CA as SSCs. It's as if someone wants everything locked up and total control over what happens. Is the U.S. govt. still paying money to state agencies for every protected species on their lists? That might have something to do with it.

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Fundad » June 3rd, 2013, 6:47 am

GBP

I picked up a really Nice Coachwhip (appx 4 ft)that will make a nice display yesterday..
Also picked up a Glossy for you, its in good (Not great) condition. With a little work it could be displayed too..


I ll keep looking for others too.

Fundad

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Jimi » June 4th, 2013, 9:08 pm

Is the U.S. govt. still paying money to state agencies for every protected species on their lists? That might have something to do with it.
Uhmmm...huh? What is this??? New to me. Never seen this in operation. Can you name this program/funding source? I'd love to tap it.

Urban legend. Plenty out there to be confused by, and plenty of crap to put up with (or better yet - put a stop to), but this quote as a matter of unambiguous fact - just fiction.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 5th, 2013, 9:20 am

A friend of mine who used to work as a biologist for the Colorado game dept told me they protected a number of species to get in on the money Clinton was giving out. I have heard the same story from Oregon people who know something about the game depts. motives. If all these people are lying, well, they had me fooled.

OK, I did a quick google search. Here's a quote from the Maryland page: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/wlfunding.asp

Federal Aid

While some may know that the MD Wildlife & Heritage Service receives federal aid dollars every year, most don’t realize we utilize several funding sources. The major federal grants that the Wildlife & Heritage Service receives funding from include:

Landowner Incentive Program
The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) provides federal grant funds to grant funds to the states to protect and restore habitats on private lands, to benefit Federally listed, proposed or candidate species or other species determined to be at-risk. Grant funds must be used to establish or supplement State landowner incentive programs to benefit species identified in the State's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy/Action Plan or classified as Special Concern by the State, or Federally listed, proposed, or candidate species or other species determined to be at-risk. These grant funds may also be used to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners for habitat protection and restoration.
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/Gr ... IP/LIP.htm


State Wildlife Grants
The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal grant funds for developing and implementing programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including species not hunted or fished. Priority is placed on projects that benefit species of greatest conservation concern. Grant funds must be used to address conservation needs, such as research, surveys, species and habitat management, and monitoring, identified within a State's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy/Action Plan.
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/Gr ... WG/SWG.htm


Wildlife Restoration
The Wildlife Restoration Program (WR) provides grant funds to the state wildlife agencies for projects to restore, conserve, manage and enhance wild birds and mammals and their habitat. Projects also include providing public use and access to wildlife resources, hunter education and development and management of shooting ranges. The Program is authorized by the Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson PR) of 1937. The WR Program is the nation's oldest and most successful wildlife restoration program. Through the purchases of firearms, ammunitions and archery equipment the WR Program is a successful user pay, user benefit program.
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/Gr ... /WR/WR.htm


Endangered Species Conservation
Grants for states and territories, offered through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (authorized under section 6 of the ESA) fund participation in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for candidate, proposed and listed species. These funds may in turn be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/grants/index.html

Now, while these programs may not be connected to a "highest number of protected species wins" scenario, it does serve to make states aware of what they can get monies for some species, and possibly, the more species listed insures a more likely Endangered species candidate down the road (which would possibly pull in more money, or at least ensure that the biologists have a steady job from studies for a few decades). Just my opinion.

I just spoke to Jimi on the phone, and he says that the money is not tied to the most species, but rather to the largest states (both size and population size), so CA gets a larger chunk of money than say...uh...North Dakota. Hmmm...I wonder if there's some wink, wink, nod, nod stuff going on that we don't know about... :crazyeyes: anyway, if anyone really wants to know how all this stuff works they can do their own google search...I'm over it.

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 5th, 2013, 6:23 pm

Grant money for research must also flow more freely if you somehow tie in your project to climate change. I get emailed calls for help on various projects, and no matter how seemingly-unconnected the project is to weather/climate, it's always tacked on for good measure.

gbp
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » June 5th, 2013, 6:53 pm

Fundad wrote:GBP

I picked up a really Nice Coachwhip (appx 4 ft)that will make a nice display yesterday..
Also picked up a Glossy for you, its in good (Not great) condition. With a little work it could be displayed too..


I ll keep looking for others too.

Fundad
Thanks Fundad! The exhibit opens Saturday night, and we currently have 11 species for the wall (all from roadkill). I currently have a nice coachwhip and a glossy for the exhibit, so we won't be skinning out any more of those for the exhibit. However, I am still absolutely interested in your finds and will gladly put them into the research collection. Thanks for keeping an eye out and salvaging the unlucky ones.

gbp
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » June 5th, 2013, 6:58 pm

A big THANKS to all who contributed specimens for the exhibit and also to those of you who are planning to contribute additional specimens later in the season for the exhibit or to the research collection. I hate seeing or hearing about roadkill, but I really appreciate the efforts to make some good come out of them.

While we have 11 species for the exhibit, I am still looking for some specimens that we will add after opening (even if that means a year or two from now), including striped Cal King (preferably a juvi, but any size is fine), adult Racer, juvi Racer, juvi Coachwhip, lyresnake, black-headed snake, night snake, ring-necked snake, and aquatic gartersnake (doesn't have to be local). In all cases, I am talking specifically about salvaged/roadkill specimens.

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by zeevng » June 19th, 2013, 11:34 pm

I'm planning to go roadcruising tomorrow night.
Are you still looking for specimens? I'd be happy to collect them, and bring them to the museum itself! :)
I love the museum, and was planning to bring my little brother next week anyway. So here's a great opportunity! :D
Cheers,
Zeev

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Fundad
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Fundad » June 20th, 2013, 10:20 am

Are you still looking for specimens? I'd be happy to collect them, and bring them to the museum itself!
They can always use specimens. I encourage all NAFHA members to contribute to their collection with roadkilled DORs.

:thumb:

Adding the finds to the HERP database as DOR's contributes to our DOR count as well.

Brian Hinds
California Chapter President

gbp
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » June 28th, 2013, 1:54 pm

I've been traveling and with limited internet access, but Brian nailed the answer. Always happy to put DORs into the collection. And if you do post photos to the HERP database, let us know when you submit the specimens so we can make a note in the museum database that there are photos in the HERP database. Always good to cross-reference, both to prevent pseudoreplication in downstream use and so that future users can find additional info if they only checked a single database.

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Jimi » June 28th, 2013, 3:22 pm

And if you do post photos to the HERP database, let us know when you submit the specimens so we can make a note in the museum database that there are photos in the HERP database. Always good to cross-reference, both to prevent pseudoreplication in downstream use and so that future users can find additional info if they only checked a single database.
If I might make one more general suggestion - when a museum communicates back to a citizen scientist about specimen(s) the citizen salvaged, the museum could let the citizen know the museum number(s) assigned to the specimen(s). Then the citizen can - if they wish - put the museum number in their HERP specimen account. More cross-referencing, and it would also communicate to casual (whether amateur or professional) HERP browsers that HERP is a "real" resource for scientists, managers, etc.

On a potentially more edgy note - this could also lead to (still more) constructive competition among active HERP data submitters - it's another item the guys can jockey on, like a person's number of state or county records, annual total species observed, etc. "How many museum numbers have you got?" Some folks don't like this competition but I call it putting human nature to work for a great cause, and say "why not?"

GPB - are you interested in accessioning tissue samples, with or without museum numbers from other institutions? We have a few in Utah that are sort of in temporary, and more to the point uncurated, academic & agency housing. I'd like to get them to their permanent, curated home, wherever that may be.

Lastly - to any potential DOR "collectors" out there - as a state wildlife agency biologist who really, really wants state agencies and museums & academia to work more and better with guys like you - I suggest dropping the use of the word "collect" and instead using the word "salvage" when talking about finding dead animals and trying to get them into the hands of scientists and/or managers. "Collect" is a very heavily freighted word. It means different things to different people, and that just gets in the way of effective communication. Just a suggestion, meant in the fullest spirit of shared interests.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Fundad
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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by Fundad » June 29th, 2013, 10:05 am

Here is one of my HERP records, that was "salvaged" for the LACNHM.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=117112

You will notice it is cross refrenced in herp to, as a vouchered and it is also "Specimen deposited at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County" You can see a voucher (camera) icon and a museum (tag) icon.

By doing it this way, anyone that gets my (our) data in a request could note that this specimen is deposited, and that might be useful if the requester wanted to look at the specimen for some reason. Greg also cross refrenced our record HERP record number.. Thus cross referenced two ways.. :thumb: :beer:

Its easy to print up your HERP record which has all the info Greg needs, including the record number, thus making it mega easy.. :)

I am currently sitting on 8 more or so salvages for them some manders and snakes..

Fundad

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by BlackPearl » June 30th, 2013, 8:06 am

I was also able to donate a couple specimens for use in this display of LA's urban wildlife. I had the opportunity to take my kids to visit the Nature Lab, and I wanted to acknowledge the fantastic job Greg and everyone else involved did with this exhibit. The wall of snake skins came out really well, but the overall exhibit was an incredible experience. All the displays were extremely well done and accessible for kids and adults alike. The information was poignant, but clear and easy to understand. My kids could have spent all day in that one room alone, but there was that space shuttle thingie to visit. I highly recommend a visit to the museum and the Nature Lab.

Great job, Greg!

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » July 1st, 2013, 10:52 pm

Jimi wrote: If I might make one more general suggestion - when a museum communicates back to a citizen scientist about specimen(s) the citizen salvaged, the museum could let the citizen know the museum number(s) assigned to the specimen(s). Then the citizen can - if they wish - put the museum number in their HERP specimen account. More cross-referencing, and it would also communicate to casual (whether amateur or professional) HERP browsers that HERP is a "real" resource for scientists, managers, etc.

Yeah Jimi, I agree that this is a good idea, and we also do this at the LACM. I do it both for the contributor's own records and also in case they are contributing records elsewhere (e.g., the HERP database) and then want to cross-reference to the LACM number. For example, as Brian mentioned, specimens that he deposited are cross-referenced between the HERP database and the LACM catalog account.

I responded to your inquiry about tissue specimen deposition via PM.

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Re: Need help: please salvage roadkill in southern CA!

Post by gbp » July 1st, 2013, 10:59 pm

BlackPearl wrote:I was also able to donate a couple specimens for use in this display of LA's urban wildlife. I had the opportunity to take my kids to visit the Nature Lab, and I wanted to acknowledge the fantastic job Greg and everyone else involved did with this exhibit. The wall of snake skins came out really well, but the overall exhibit was an incredible experience. All the displays were extremely well done and accessible for kids and adults alike. The information was poignant, but clear and easy to understand. My kids could have spent all day in that one room alone, but there was that space shuttle thingie to visit. I highly recommend a visit to the museum and the Nature Lab.

Great job, Greg!
John, thanks for the kind words, and of course, thanks also for the specimens. Hopefully you recognized some of your contributions on the wall. Sorry I was out of town when you came through. Hopefully next time I'll be there and we can meet up. I still owe you a tour for the help you provided in filling gaps in the snake wall.

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