Northern BC Municipalities Support Regional Palaeontological Museum Concept

A series of events with profound importance for Tumbler Ridge and the Peace Region has been unfolding in recent months. Noting the incredible discoveries and achievements in palaeontology in the past nine years in the region, in early 2009 the Mayor and Council in Tumbler Ridge passed a motion calling for the establishment of a regional palaeontological museum. At the February 9 Policies and Procedures Committee Meeting it was decided to forward this resolution to the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) for its consideration. In due course the resolution was passed at that level as well, with the result that the following motion was presented to the North Central Municipalities Association (NCMA) meeting, which was held in Dawson Creek in early May:

WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia has a growing quantity of marine and terrestrial vertebrate palaeontological remains discovered largely in the Peace River Region,

AND WHEREAS, there is no proper facility to house, display or provide research opportunities for this material,

BE IT RESOLVED that NCMA forward a resolution to UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) to lobby on our behalf to the Province of British Columbia for a regional facility to preserve, protect, study and display this valuable resource.

Whereas most resolutions on the table at NCMA are the subject of considerable debate, this one wasn?t, as there was no significant opposition to it. Within minutes, it had been passed, virtually unanimously, by the Municipalities of the province?s north. It will now be presented at the UBCM meeting in September. The significance of these most welcome developments cannot be overstated.

Tumbler Ridge?s first dinosaur footprints were discovered in 2000, and BC?s first accumulation of dinosaur bones were found nearby in 2002. In response to this, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation was established, followed by the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre in 2004. Since then over 600 dinosaur bones have been recovered, and over a thousand marine vertebrate fossils have been recovered from the mountains. Exploration and research in the Region have identified numerous other fossil sites, many of which are unique or of international importance. The Dinosaur Discovery Gallery was opened in Tumbler Ridge in 2007. In 2008 the Research Centre and Gallery were moved to a disused school facility in Tumbler Ridge which offered more space, and were re-opened in May 2009.