Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242
September 7, 2006
When surveyor Sean Burk, doing work for Veritas DGC’s seismic program, saw what he thought was a dinosaur footprint in a creek bed near Tumbler Ridge, he did three correct things. He took a photo, he took a GPS reading, and he reported his find to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.
A few days later a Museum Foundation field party worked their way to the site. En route eleven year old Carina Helm, apparently following in her older brother’s footsteps, discovered another impressive dinosaur trackway. Once they reached the Veritas site, it was evident that there were a number of deep and spectacular dinosaur trackways to be seen. One loose rock containing an ankylosaur hand-foot pair was backpacked out – all 116 pounds of it.
The return of palaeontologists McCrea and Buckley from their work at the Kakwa site was eagerly awaited so that they could be shown the new sites, and their assessment of the significance was extremely positive.
Rich McCrea comments, "Each new tracksite that is found adds to our understanding of ancient environments and the animals that lived in them. The recent finds by Veritas and Carina Helm are of scientific significance and research is currently underway. The Veritas site has the best preserved ankylosaur trackway I have seen in this area and Carina’s find includes at least one footprint with skin impressions.”
The unusually low water levels expose some of the tracks well at present, but for most of the year they will be under snow or submerged below the creek level. Still, once the scientific research has been completed, one area at the Veritas site has substantial education and tourism potential, as well as aesthetic appeal beside a great swimming hole that captures afternoon sunshine. It will be an outstanding new venue for Dinosaur Camp visits, as well as school and tour groups, adding to the field sites currently marketed.
Veritas DGC has done a lot more for the TRMF than just find this footprint. The exceptional helicopter support they have provided has enabled the retrieval of large numbers of dinosaur footprints, fossil fish and marine reptile specimens from their mountain caches, and transported museum staff and volunteers great distances in the mountains. The legacy the company is leaving will be realized in outstanding specimens on display in the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery, crucial research, and a local economy further diversified into tourism.