Press Release
For Immediate Release

Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242 3984

July 23, 2006

In the remote mountains south of Tumbler Ridge, the fish fossils are in the net, and Marlie Milne signals pilot Steve Michaud, watched by rigging expert Chris Schubert, Charles Helm of the TRMF and project co-ordinator Trevor Dixon. Photo credit: Daniel Helm
The Triassic fish and marine reptile fossils of Fossil Fish Lake (in Wapiti Lake Provincial Park) grace many of the great museums of the world, and this famous locality south of Tumbler Ridge once almost became a World Heritage Site. Ironically, one of the places where these magnificent fossils are NOT visible to the public is the Peace Region from where they originate! The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) and Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (PRPRC) are setting out to rectify this, and are busy collecting and cataloguing such fossils. Many of these will be displayed in the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, which is scheduled to open soon.

Research staff from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is planning a visit to Tumbler Ridge in the next few months to study and describe this collection. Their work will help with the scientifically accurate description and exhibition of this material for all to enjoy.

The problem for the TRMF and PRPRC was that these blocks weigh hundreds of pounds and are in remote mountainous terrain. Veritas DGC Land is doing a seismic 2D survey in the Tumbler Ridge area for Talisman Energy, and routinely discusses proposed seismic lines with stakeholders such as TRMF. As a result of making this contact, Trevor Dixon learned about this unusual challenge.

Unbelievably, the very next day a helicopter retrieval project was underway and brought back a load of wonderful fossil material which had been cached at the site by the TRMF. Guided to the site by Charles and Daniel Helm of the TRMF, pilot Steve Michaud of Northern Air Support skillfully manipulated his machine and long-lined the material to the staging area, assisted on the ground by rigging and safety expert Chris Schubert. Administrator Marlie Milne even found a new marine reptile vertebral column, which was duly added to the cargo.

Trevor Dixon commented: “On behalf of Talisman Energy and Veritas DGC Land, we are very pleased to be able to help the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation with this important work. We hope that recovering and retrieving these impressive fossils will help the Foundation, the community of Tumbler Ridge, and the region.”

For its part the Museum Foundation appreciates that without this kind of support from regional industry, such successful projects would be very difficult to pursue. Thanks to this generous donation of helicopter time and critical skills by Talisman Energy and Veritas DGC Land, the TRMF’s collections are enhanced and its ability to showcase these fossils to the world, in the area from which they come, is made possible.

Please note: It is illegal to remove fossils from a BC Provincial Park without the necessary permit.

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