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DNR to give 92-pound Petoskey stone new home in Detroit

The Department of Natural Resources has made the decision of where to display a 92-pound Petoskey stone found in Leelanau County two years ago. According to State Parks Chief Ron Olson, the fossil will be placed in downtown Detroit.Courtesy: Tim O'Brien

(WPBN/WGTU) -- The Department of Natural Resources has made the decision of where to display a 92-pound Petoskey stone found in Leelanau County two years ago. According to State Parks Chief Ron Olson, the fossil will be placed in downtown Detroit.


The decision was apparently made by the DNR last week.

UpNorthLive reached out to the DNR September 27 to check up on the location of the Petoskey stone since it was confiscated by DNR officials from Tim O'Brien's Copemish home in 2015.

When asked about the Petoskey stone's location on September 27, a spokesperson said it was still in the department's possession and it was still being determined what the next step would be.

Background:

In September 2015, Tim O'Brien of Copemish spotted the huge Petoskey stone buried in the sand several feet out in Lake Michigan near Northport in Leelanau County.

He managed to lug the rock home and proudly posted a picture of his find on Facebook. His posts quickly went viral.

The story featured on UpNorthLive that first week reached nearly 400,000 people and was shared more than 4,000 times. The story was posted on websites from coast to coast and also aired on television affiliates for NBC, ABC, CNN and was also shared on The Weather Channel.

The story also garnered the attention of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Removing more than 25-pounds of any rock from state-owned land is against the law in Michigan.

Parks and Recreation Areas - State Land Rules
(hh) Remove from state-owned land more than the aggregate total weight of 25 pounds, per individual per year of any rock, mineral specimen (exclusive of any gold bearing material), or invertebrate fossil for individual or non-commerical hobby use.
PENALTY, MCL 324.504 (Excerpt) (History: 1994, Act 451, Eff. March 30,1995; -Am 1996, Act 171, Imd. Eff. April 18, 1996.) A person who violates a rule,or an order is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $500.00


Two years later:

September, 2017 a call was made to the DNR office to inquire about the location of the Petoskey stone. After it was confiscated, there were discussions about it possibly being displayed at a Michigan Visitor's Center, or even placed back into Lake Michigan.

When UpNorthLive reached out to the DNR September 27, a spokesperson said the Petoskey stone was still in the departments possession at one of its facilities, which would not be disclosed. The official said at some point it may be put on public display, but officials were still trying to determine the next step.

On October 10 it was released that the Petoskey stone will be displayed at the DNR's Outdoor Adventure Center in downtown Detroit. According to Olson, the Petoskey stone may be placed in an indoor waterfall.

Why Detroit and not in northern Michigan where it was found?

"The amount of visitation we have at the Outdoor Adventure Center is much more, we get people from all over, not just people in Detroit," explained State Parks Chief Ron Olson."It's a great opportunity to share what kind of resources there are in the state. I can understand why some people would think to put it closer to where it was found but rationale was to put it in a place where a lot of people visit and where people might not be at all aware of what a Petoskey stone is."

The Outdoor Adventure Center does have an admission fee. An annual family membership is $50. Adult admission is $5, children and seniors are $3 and children under 2 are free.

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