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TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society has retained its designation as a geological heritage site after a recent evaluation.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sent two evaluators in early August to determine if the geopark still met the criteria and obligations to be a UNESCO-designated site.

After deliberation, the park was given a green card, meaning it can keep the designation, along with some suggestions for improvements in the future.

“We will always have more work we can be doing to become more sustainable and improve the quality of what we have to offer,” said executive director Manda Maggs.

Hartmut Escher from Germany and Miguel Cruz from Mexico evaluated the geopark on over 200 criteria points for sustainability and productivity.

Their inspection included a trip with Wild River Adventures down the Murray River to Kinuseo Falls, a helicopter trip out to the far reaches of the geopark, and conversations with local politicians, community members, and the geopark’s partners.

After their visit, the two evaluators created a report of their observations, which was then taken to an international committee that discussed whether the geopark would be allowed to use the UNESCO designation.

The committee met from December 6th to 8th to discuss new applications and renewals, and then the site was given a green card.

After every UNESCO evaluation, a coloured card is given out, designating the next steps for the site.

A green card means that the site is on the right track and can continue participating in the program for another four years.

A yellow card indicates the committee has serious concerns about the site, which will need to be corrected within two years. At this point, another inspection will be conducted.

A red card means the site isn’t up to UNESCO’s standards and is stripped of the designation.

“The endorsement of UNESCO shows that we have earned our place at the highest level of sustainable tourism promoting geological and cultural heritage,” said Maggs.

The Tumbler Ridge Global Geoparks’ next revalidation process will take place in 2026.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.