National Parks 2021: John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

It’s time for the annual National Parks Club/KAL!

Every month from May-August, we’ll be releasing 4 new parks colorways. We have exhausted all of the traditional US National Parks, save one, so this year, we’ll be showcasing other National Parks areas, such as National Recreation Areas, Heritage sites, etc. Most will fall under one of 4 categories:

  • National History – Eastern USA
  • National History – Western USA
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Human Rights Leaders/notable people

Check out our Socks and Hats on Vacay/Staycay summertime KAL with our friend Shannon Squire, too: 

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer):

Where is it located?

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a U.S. national monument in Wheeler and Grant counties in east-central Oregon.

Whose land does it reside upon?

Many groups of Indigenous peoples lived in the area surrounding the John Day Fossil Beds, including the Northern Paiute (who were the main Shoshonean speaking culture in Oregon) and the Bannock people. Tenino and Northern Paiute appear to be the most closely connected with lands comprising John Day Fossil Beds National Monument during the protohistoric (about 1730 to 1810, or the time between the acquisition of horses and first contact with non-lndigenous people) and historic periods. Much of the land that comprises the National Monument falls within the territory ceded by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in the 1855 treaty.

When was it established?

October 8, 1975

Why is it amazing?

Colorful rock formations, including distinctive rock layers, preserve a fairly comprehensive record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years. Each layer shows fossilized remains of plants and animals, both familiar and strange. It is unlikely that a more complete and well-preserved record of Cenozoic terrestrial life exists anywhere in the world. Examining the differences between each of the geologic strata helps researchers better understand how the region has changed through time. As knowledge about each of the layers grows, fundamental questions pertaining to the environment, climate, and the ancient life in western North America can be answered, providing a more complete understanding of part of Earth’s history.

Why did we choose these colors?

If you look through images of the Fossil Beds, you’ll see these colors echoed in the rock formations.

For more information: