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May-June 2016

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Opalized Wood from Clover Creek, Gooding County, Idaho

The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in petrified wood, along with a corresponding rapid growth in the number of petrified wood collectors. Numerous books have helped fuel this resurgence. Dernbach (1996), Daniels (1998), and Daniels and Dayvault (2006) are prime examples of books with photos of spectacular specimens, descriptions of localities, and information about age and species. Serious collectors have studied the contents of these books in an effort to emulate, in their own collections, the quality of specimens and diversity of localities that these books depict. So, it was with some surprise when one of us (JM) visited several natural history museums in Europe and found that each one of them had a specimen of opalized wood from Clover Creek, Idaho (fig. 1).

Mike Viney teaches science in Poudre School District and is a teacher-in-residence at the College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center at Colorado State University.

Jim Mills is a longtime collector of petrified wood and plant fossils from worldwide locations.

Paul Link has been a professor of sedimentary geology at Idaho State University since 1980 and is coauthor of the 2012 Idaho Geologic Map.

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