Long before there was culture in Southern Nevada, there were woolly mammoths stomping all over everything as they fled hungry cavemen wielding spears and barbecue sauce. Today, the proposed Tule Springs Ice Age Park in North Las Vegas commemorates that era as proponents urge Congress to declare it a national monument (and hopefully short-circuit NV Energy's proposal to build a power transmission corridor through the massive, ancient fossil bed).
Now, eons of prehistory depend on the next few months. Proponents hope to get a bill through Congress before the end of the year - when they can be certain that one of their most powerful supporters, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, still has a job.
"It doesn't mean the idea of a national monument protecting this area will go away if it doesn't happen now," says Lynn Davis of the National Parks Conservation Association. "But there's great interest and great energy at this moment." Watch for a mammoth push this fall. Info: www.tulespringslv.com