Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark status renewed

The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark has had its prestigious UNESCO designation renewed with green card status, officials say.

The park's status was re-evaluated in July 2018, and its renewal comes on the heels of the International Geosciences and Geoparks Programme meetings that took place in Paris last month.

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“We are so pleased with the results of our evaluation," Roxanne Gulick, president of the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society, said in a news release. "We couldn’t have achieved this without the dedication we have from our staff, and the support we’ve received locally and regionally. We are looking forward to the next four years and beyond."

The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark was first designated in 2014, and all geoparks are regularly re-evaluated. But the status of the Geopark was thrown into doubt last summer after a spat between the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation and local governments in the region erupted following a visit by UNESCO evaluators.

In giving its renewal, officials recommended more collaboration with the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, which operates the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre; increased protections for fossil sites; and more safety warnings at dangerous sites such as waterfalls.

Geoparks with a green card status are evaluated every four years. Geoparks are given a yellow card status when concerns are identified during an evaluation, and which calls for another evaluation in two years.

Parks are given a red card status when there are "considerable concerns," and when a park has lost its official designation. Parks must then go through a full new application status to regain geopark status.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

[Editor's Note: This article has been corrected. Local governments were in a dispute with the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation about the Geopark's status renewal during evaluations in 2018, not the Geopark as previously reported.]

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