Location Name: Wheeler High School Fossil Beds
GPS: 45.00178, -120.21253
When using GPS coordinates to navigate to locations in the backcountry sites like Google will often make mistakes. Please watch this video before venturing out. https://youtu.be/hQr1l7dnCE4
Tools: All the tools. Geo-Pick, small shovel, 3lb hand sledge, rock hammer, gad pry bar, flat long chisels, wide flat chisels, small chisels, a bucket and foil to wrap your finds.
Date Visited: April 2023
Additional comments: As of spring 2023 the fees are as follows: Individuals $5 Family of four, $15 each additional child, $3 Groups (school, college/university, scouts, church, etc.) of 20 or less, $25 To arrange a group visit contact Wheeler High School at (541) 763-4303.
For more information you can also check out the Oregon Paleo Lands Center as well as our trip report from our visit there.
Any Location Updates Since Visit: When we visited the Oregon Paleo Lands Center they gave a suggestion on how to prep these fossils. That information is at the end of this listing.
These are all of the fossil that we collected on site and took home.
This is a copy of the identification guide that was at Oregon Paleo Lands Center for the location as well as another one I was able to find online.
If you want to learn a lot more about this location I have included a copy of Preliminary assessment of the extent of the leaf fossil beds at Wheeler High School by Mark L. Ferns, Jason D. McClaughry and Ian P. Madin which appeared in Oregon Geology Vol 68 #1 in fall of 2007.
Fossil Preparation: When we visited the When we visited the Oregon Paleo Lands Center they gave a suggestion on how to prep these fossils that come from the Wheeler High School Fossil Bed and the suggestion was to spray them with a product called Helmsman Spar Urethane with a clear satin finish. Being reluctant to spray things on fossils since you can not easily remove this product I did a test and the results are below.
The argument in favor of spraying this would be that if its prevents the fossil from turning to dust and in turn it preserves the fossil which is the goal. However the argument against doing it is that it slightly discolors the fossil making it darker.
It is also a possibility that this is an unnecessary step to take if you have proper storage of the fossils you collected. There is a big difference between setting one of these fossils on a top shelf in your kitchen or setting it on your coffee table where visitors will handle it vs. being stored in a display case, where no one touches it, and it does not receive direct sunlight in anyway.
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