A Global Geopark is defined as an area with geological heritage of international significance, which is being used to the sustainable development of its local communities. A committee formed between the Museum Foundation, the District Municipality of Tumbler Ridge, Northern B.C. Tourism and the Wolverine Nordic & Mountain Society believes the Tumbler Ridge area matches that description well, due to its fossil heritage and “numerous” geological features, including waterfalls, rock formations, alpine summits, and caves. It also points to programs provided by the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre as well as museum exhibits and extensive hiking trails to those geological features.
The symposium runs from July 26 to 28 at the Trend Mountain Hotel Conference Centre, and along with the presentations, it will also include field trips and the release of three full colour books on the scenery, human history and fossils of Tumbler Ridge. It is the 5th annual symposium held by the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre.
In the three days following the symposium, delegates from the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks will take a look at the region in order to decide whether to recommend that the submitted Expression of Interest is worth applying to the Global Geoparks Network. If it gets support, it’s expected the formal application will be submitted this fall.
There are currently 80 UNESCO Geoparks worldwide, with only one currently in North America.