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NEWS RELEASE · 3rd May 2010
M. of Agriculture & Lands
The Province is inviting British Columbians to participate in public consultation on a Fossil Management Framework and designation of an official provincial fossil, Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

"The Fossil Management Framework will become the blueprint for managing our rich fossil heritage," Thomson said. "B.C. fossils tell us a story about the last half billion years of life in this province. This story belongs to all of us and we want to make sure we hear from everyone through the provincewide consultation process."

The Province has been working with agencies, stakeholders and the academic community to identify the elements that form the basis for fossil management in British Columbia. Through the consultation website, individuals will have the opportunity to submit comments on the framework elements, or engage in an online discussion with other participants on 12 different topics.

The Fossil Management Framework will address use and protection of fossils, based on a comprehensive review of fossil management in other jurisdictions and feedback from stakeholder groups and the public.

"British Columbia has diverse fossil deposits, which give us a rare view into pre- recorded history," said the Royal British Columbia Museum's botany and Earth history curator Dr. Richard Hebda. "A fossil management framework will establish clear processes and procedures around this fragile resource and raise public awareness about how much knowledge we gain from the fossil record."

The Province is also working with the B.C. Paleontological Alliance (BCPA) to designate a provincial fossil, which will be added to Official Symbols of British Columbia. Individuals will be invited to submit their suggestions for a fossil symbol through the consultation website.

"The British Columbia Paleontological Alliance has been working with the Province on protection and management of our diverse paleontological heritage and we are excited about this new development in the consultation process," said BCPA past chair Jim Haggart. "We are looking forward to working with the Province to ensure that the evolving management framework addresses the needs of the professional and amateur paleontological communities in British Columbia in a scientifically responsible manner."

The consultation period ends July 2, 2010.

For more information or to participate in the Fossil Management Framework consultation, visit: http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/clad/strategic_land/Fossil_Consultation/Index.html