The San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation was formed in 1996 after the discovery of the Fairmead Fossils in Madera County, California. The Fairmead Fossils are found at the Madera County landfill, which is located in the small town of Fairmead just south of Chowchilla. These fossils were first discovered when a scraper was moving dirt and the alert equipment operator noticed some unusual coloration of the soil. Investigation revealed a complete fossil of a Columbian Mammoth tusk, which was dated at approximately 500,000 years old. In a short time, scientists realized that the landfill was located on one of the most significant fossil beds discovered from the Pleistocene period.
Madera County is located in California’s Central Valley, a rural agricultural area with little access to museums and science centers. The San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation was formed to develop tours, educational programs and other means to share the excitement of this scientific and historical treasure with local residents and with the general public.
Some very dedicated people have partnered together to make the Fossil Discovery Center possible.
The San Joaquin Vally Paleontology Society operates the center that the County of Madera has created. Fresno State University provides the expertise, and you provide the reason.