On Friday October 9th, 2020, a massive fossil recovery effort disrupted traffic along highway 29 between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd for several hours as four large blocks containing significant material were recovered, the largest weighing in at 17,000 pounds. Dr. Andrew Lawfield, Museum Curator & Collections Manager, was onsite, "We're enormously grateful to the many volunteers who donated significant time and infrastructure to accomplish this ambitious recovery project. One highlight among many fossil treasures salvaged for posterity is a dinosaur track showing vividly preserved skin impressions."
The other three samples will be kept under wraps for now as a collaboration of international experts work with local researcher and museum volunteer, Dr. Charles Helm, to interpret the findings. Dr. Helm had this to say about the museum’s latest acquisitions, “The results, I believe, will be globally significant and will be complemented by a recent spate of further discoveries within the Tumbler Ridge Geopark. It has been an incredible field season.”
The recovery was months in the making requiring significant coordination and support from LaPrairie Crane, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Argo Road Maintenance, SL Enterprizes Ltd., Heritage Branch, the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, and Tumbler Ridge Museum staff and volunteers.
“We were delighted to help the Tumbler Ridge Museum by providing our cranes, trucks and operators to assist with the extraction of this exciting discovery,” Roachelle LaPrairie of LaPrairie Group of Companies said. “Tumbler Ridge has, and continues to be, an important part of our LaPrairie operations. We are proud to support the dedicated, talented people that turned the dream of establishing a local dinosaur museum into a reality.”
Thank you to everyone who made this recovery possible!
LaPrairie Crane Crew: Barry Langford, Tom Thompson, Braeden Norman, Stephen Wile, and crane operator Jeremy Rhodes
Argo Road Maintenance: Bill Lamoureux
SL Enterprizes: Rachel Threinen and Samantha Mundt
TRMF Team: Dr. Andrew Lawfield, Curator & Collections Manager, and volunteers Dr. Charles Helm and Lisa Mackenzie