Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation Presents to UBCM
Trent Ernst, Editor
Charles Helm and Rich McCrea were on-hand at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) meeting last week, making a presentation to members of B.C.’s over 200 municipalities, regional districts and first nations groups.
Helm says the presentation was to discuss how to preserve B.C.’s dinosaur resource. “The sub-theme is the suggestion that Tumbler Ridge become the repository for vertebrate fossils in the province,” said Helm in an interview before the two left for Victoria.
“The presentation takes people through what’s been happening here since the discovery of the dinosaur tracks in 2000, the wonderful resources in the whole Peace region and how already here in Tumbler Ridge we have a facility that is effectively functioning as a provincial repository, though it doesn’t have the recognition or the funding that would go along with that designation.”
In 2009, the Peace River Regional District proposed a motion that the province needs a facility like this, though it didn’t specifically name the Peace Region Paleontological Research Centre. The motion was well-received, even being named a Gold Star motion for being a well-presented motion of provincial concern, says Helm. “It was unanimously passed by the UBCM. It called for UBCM to exert pressure on the government,” says Helm. “Unfortunately not very much has happened.”
Helm says the TRMF isn’t expecting much to change with this presentation, either. “We’re under no illusion that we’ll make this presentation and suddenly everything will change. But it certainly does make people aware of it and we are mindful that there’s an election coming up, so there’s a degree of volatility.”
In other provinces, says Helm, there is a desire to preserve the paleontological history of the province. “That hasn’t happened in B.C. We’re the odd province out. It’s not like we’re trying to lead the game here.
“From our perspective the more people across the province that are aware of what we’ve done, the better. We’re the only place with the qualified staff, with the space, and with the will and the passion to do this. The only drawback is absence of secure funding.”