There are 599 National Natural Landmarks and a new one just outside of Denver has been named the latest. 

The West Bijou Site is part of the Plains Conservation Center. The PCC protects grasslands and diverse wildlife on the east side of Aurora.

The Department of the Interior, the government entity that is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, said the West Bijou Site earned the distinction because of its rich fossil record. The site, according to the press release, includes a "1.18-inch band of sediments that marks both the massive extinction of dinosaurs and the dawning of the new Cenozoic Era."

The National Natural Landmarks program recognizes and encourages the conservation of sites that have "outstanding" biological and geological resources, regardless of whether it's public or privately owned.

Other National Natural Landmarks in Colorado include:

  • Big Spring Creek (part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve)
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Garden Park Fossil Area
  • Hanging Lake (part of the White River National Forest)
  • Indian Springs Trace Fossil
  • Lost Creek Scenic Area (Pikes Peak National Forest)
  • Morrison-Golden Fossil Areas (Parfet Prehistoric Preserve in Golden)
  • Raton Mesa
  • Roxborough State Park
  • Russell Lakes
  • Sand Creek
  • Slumgullion Earthflow
  • Spanish Peaks
  • Summit Lake