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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
Natural Resources
January 9, 2012

Significant Fossil Resources Protected

Several significant palaeontological (fossil) sites within a number of communities in Newfoundland and Labrador are now protected under the Historic Resources Act as a result of recently approved regulations.

“The regulations are aimed at protecting the province’s significant fossil resources,” said the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “With these regulations in place, we are able to address the problem of collectors removing significant fossils and damaging their locations.”

Communities with newly-designated significant fossil sites that are now protected under the regulations are Conception Bay South, Stephenville, Spaniards Bay, Bishop’s Cove, Trinity Bay North, Elliston, and Upper Island Cove. The full list of sites is available at www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/Regulations/rc110067.htm.

“These sites were recognized by our Geological Survey Division as requiring immediate protection,” said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources. “There are a number of criteria that can help determine the significance of a site such as age, rarity, quality of preservation, and completeness. The sites that have been designated meet at least one or a combination of these criteria.”

Ensuring fossil preservation is beneficial to both present and future generations. Fossils are essential to reconstructing the early history of life on earth. They also provide a focus for formal and informal education. Fossil exhibits and interpreted sites can draw visitors and researchers into communities.

If communities feel they have significant fossil sites, they are asked to contact the Provincial Archaeology Office, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, or the Geological Survey Division, Department of Natural Resources.

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Media contacts:

Diana Quinton
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 631-8155
Heather Maclean
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 697-4137

2012 01 09             9:45 a.m.

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