Big Rock National Park (S/F)

Big Rock National Park is an American national park in Humboldt County, California. It is located twenty miles away from the secluded Lockwood estate, which itself is roughly five miles south of the town of Orick. Because this national park is fictional, not much is currently known about it.

Name

The origin of the name Big Rock is unknown, but is assumed to refer to a geological formation.

Location

Big Rock National Park is said to be located 20 miles away from the Lockwood estate, though it is not known in what direction. It is assumed to be located either south or east of the estate (it cannot be west of the estate as this would place it in the Pacific Ocean, and references to events “up north” imply that the Lockwood estate is north of Big Rock).

The Lockwood estate is located off an unnumbered exit on U.S. Route 101 five miles south of the town of Orick. Because of its close proximity, Big Rock National Park is known to be within Humboldt County, California; it exists within the narrow strip of land where coast redwood trees naturally grow.

Description

Big Rock National Park’s size and geography is mostly unknown, but is included in the redwood forest ecosystem found in the Pacific Northwest. It has a communal campground including an area where campers and RVs may be parked. Fires, cooking, and camping are all permitted within the campground area. A ranger station is located somewhere in the park.

History
Creation

The U.S. National Park Service was founded in 1916, after which point American national parks were designated for the NPS to oversee. The date at which Big Rock National Park was designated is unknown, but it would have been sometime following 1916. If it existed as protected land prior to this, it would most likely have been managed by the U.S. Army.

2019 incident

Nothing is known about the park’s history until 2019. The year prior, several dozen de-extinct animals had been released from the Lockwood estate twenty miles away. Despite the knowledge that these animals were now living in the wild, campers continued to visit Big Rock; the park rangers monitored the area to ensure the campers’ safety.

Aftermath of the 2019 incident

On Easter weekend in 2019, almost a year after the Lockwood incident, Big Rock park rangers advised campers to seek shelter as dinosaurs had been spotted in the nearby forest. A male and female Nasutoceratops, along with a single juvenile offspring, entered the campground while foraging for food; this was the first confirmed evidence of de-extinct animals breeding on American soil. While the male was away, the female and calf were attacked by a female Allosaurus, which separated the mother from the calf. Despite the predator’s attempt, the calf was able to defend itself and was rescued by its parents. While the herbivorous dinosaurs retreated, the allosaur’s attention was drawn to the sound of a crying baby in one of the campers. The predator tore apart the camper and attacked the family inside, but was shot in the face by the family’s daughter using a double crossbow. While it was not grievously wounded, the dinosaur had nearly lost an eye due to the attack and made a retreat to seek safer prey.

The following day, a news crew headed by reporter Rebecca Ryan arrived to document the aftermath while the U.S. Department of Wildlife tracked the allosaur. During the report, the animal returned to the site with a USDW helicopter in pursuit. The ensuing chaos resulted in the destruction of a news van and injuries or possible deaths to news crew.

Due to this incident, serious property damage was incurred and the family members involved suffered various injuries. The incident has since raised safety questions regarding forested areas in Northern California, as well as regions elsewhere that de-extinct animals are known to live.

Cultural Significance

Big Rock National Park is one of over 400 areas in the U.S. National Park System. American national parks are intended both for conservation purposes and to allow the American people opportunities for recreation in nature. Big Rock National Park is located in a narrow strip of land where coast redwoods flourish, and provides people with the chance to camp and explore among some of the largest trees in North America.

The campground in Big Rock allows RVs and campers to park overnight, and also permits campfires and cooking. It regularly draws visitors from as far away as Oakland, including people from many walks of life; visitors commonly stay in the park during holiday weekends. Camping in Big Rock is also popular during nights when celestial events such as meteor showers will be visible, as the park offers unrestricted views of the night sky free of light pollution.

Since 2019, Big Rock National Park has also become known for the incident which occurred during the Easter weekend in which campers were imperiled by a wild Allosaurus. Despite warnings from the park ranger, the predatory animal threatened the lives of a family of campers before being driven away. The incident has come to succinctly demonstrate the fears that many people hold about human-dinosaur interactions.

Ecological Significance

As with all the United States national parks, Big Rock is used for conservation of its local ecosystem. It is populated by coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), a tree species with a highly restricted habitat area. The presence of Big Rock National Park helps to preserve this rare tree and the ecosystem it is a part of. Many species of plants, animals, and fungi thrive in redwood forests, including some endangered species. While humans are permitted in the park, their presence is limited and controlled; park rangers are employed to monitor the park.

Since 2018, the park has been inhabited by at least four de-extinct animals, including a female Allosaurus as well as a mated pair of Nasutoceratops and their single offspring. This most recent animal’s egg was laid sometime after the 2018 incident at the Lockwood estate, and hatched in late 2018 or early 2019. It is the first de-extinct animal confirmed to have hatched within the United States of America. The habitat within Big Rock National Park is clearly suitable for at least these two species of dinosaur, despite its marked differences from their former habitat on Isla Nublar.