By Christine Rumleskie
Paleontologists Lisa Buckley and Rich McCrea are itching to get back out in the dirt.
The pair from Tumbler Ridge has been watching the ground thaw, in hopes of resuming excavation of what could be B.C.’s first intact duck-billed dinosaur (Hadrosaur).
But Buckley says she’s trying to not get her hopes up.
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If all goes well this year, the excavation process will have taken three years to complete. Buckley says a $25,000 grant from the North Peace Economic Development Commission has funded the work.
Once excavated, the skeleton will be transported to the dinosaur museum in Tumbler Ridge.
Buckley says the museum is also gearing up for the grand opening of its Dinosaur Discovery Gallery.
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The grand opening will be tied into the 2nd Annual Paleontology Symposium on May 15th. That conference is open to everyone and runs 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Twilight Lodge in Tumbler Ridge.
Meanwhile, Buckley says a grassroots movement is in place to construct a major centre dedicated to dinosaur research, education and tourism.
The idea has already received a UBCM Gold Star Award for excellence, meaning it has strong support from local municipalities.
Buckley says all that’s needed now is Provincial support.
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Lisa Buckley and Rich McCrea are B.C.’s only paleontologists who specialize in terrestrial dinosaurs. Buckley says she and her husband will continue to hunt the hillsides of the Peace Region in hopes of finding even more dinosaurs.