“We didn’t really uncover anything,” explains Palaeontologist Rich McCrea. “We just dusted off what we can see but it was evident that this was a very large and very important track site. I’ve dealt with these sorts of things long enough to know that this is almost like winning a lottery.”
He says the multiple imprints indicate both carnivore and herbivore creatures. The area dusted off is about 300 sq metres and McCrea says it could easily expand to 1000 sq metres.
The site was initially discovered back in the fall 2008 by a Peace Region resident but it wasn’t formally documented by McCrea and his crew until recently.
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“The danger is that any place that we go and start working people are going to pay attention to it,” McCrea goes on to explain. “So we wanted to wait until we were absolutely ready.”
McCrea hopes the site can be transformed into a museum-like building – which he says are quite popular in places like the U.S., China and Germany.
“The proposal is that we take a look at this opportunity…to maybe look at some tourism development,” says McCrea. “I say if you love something enough; you put a building over it.”
He says a protective building would be valuable to the site for a number of reasons, including the ability to be visited throughout all four seasons of the year, as well as supporting the general preservation of the tracks.
There’s also the concept of creating a ‘northern dinosaur tour’ by connecting the recently designated Tumbler Ridge Geopark to the new Philip J Currie Dinosaur Museum in Alberta, and of course, back to the proposed museum near Williston Lake.
At this point, McCrea says his Research Centre is working with The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources in securing a designation to protect the site – although he was quite vague in describing exactly what that would encompass.