President Obama made the Waco Mammoth Site the 408th unit of the National Park System today. Visitors to the Waco Mammoth National Monument can see in situ fossils of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths that lived about 67,000 years ago. A coalition of local organizations sought the designation as a way to raise the profile of a unique community resource that already attracts 18,000 visitors per year, including 3,300 Central Texas students with school groups.

The new national monument is operated collaboratively with the City of Waco, which developed the site in accordance with National Park Service standards, setting up a seamless transition to the new designation. Waco Mammoth will continue to be supported by its nonprofit partner, the Waco Mammoth Foundation, and by collaborative relationships with Baylor University and local and regional museums.

A 2015 Harbinger assessment found that visitation to the Waco Mammoth National Monument is likely to grow three times faster over the next ten years than it would have without the National Park Service designation. Affiliation with the park service is also expected to accelerate fundraising and development of new visitor facilities and programming, and provide paleontology expertise leading to renewed research and fossil preparation onsite.

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