BOSTON (WWLP) —
Dinosaurs once roamed the ancient mudflats of the
Connecticut River Valley. State lawmakers told 22News how they want to preserve the artifacts buried in western Massachusetts.
The Connecticut River Valley is home to hundreds of
fossilized dinosaur footprints and state lawmakers want to prevent them from being stolen.
Legislature's Environment Committee reported a bill out favorably that creates a special commission that will evaluate ways to strengthen laws to protect archaeological resources.
Northampton State Representative Peter Kocot filed the bill after environmental police caught people excavating and selling
raptor footprints taken from state property. Those individuals were fined less than
“These penalties were tiny,” said Rep. Kocot. “So there was no incentive not to take these things by some people.”
Rep. Anne Gobi, (D) Spencer, told 22News, “It would allow that commission actually to be able to accept donations that could be used, then to help preserve those gems that we have here in the Commonwealth.”
Rep. Kocot says his bill also aims to protect artifacts left by Native American tribes who used the Connecticut River Valley as a travel route in the
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