District helps deliver glacial rock to Tumbler Ridge museum

In July 2019, with the aid of NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Services and Mayor Keith Bertrand, and Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark staff, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation was able to recover a massive rock slab containing a tyrannosaurid track from the Quality Wind Project area.

Disappointingly, another smaller slab had to be left at the site due to its location under the power lines. On June 22nd, 2020, District of Tumbler Ridge Mayor and Council kindly approved use of the District’s picker truck to recover the rock specimen, and on June 25th the slab, weighing about one tonne, was gratefully received at the museum by Dr. Andrew Lawfield, the museum’s Curator and Collections Manager.

This rock does not contain a fossil but tells the story of a world, millions of years after the dinosaurs, that was covered in ice and snow. It contains an outstanding example of parallel grooves known as ‘glacial striations’ and are the result of the great weight of glaciers grinding depressions into the bedrock during the Pleistocene Era or what is more commonly referred to as the ‘Ice Ages’.

"This find will be of great help as we expand the scope of our public visitor displays over the next few years to tell the exciting story of huge natural changes that take place across geological time and are recorded in local rocks and fossils. This magnificent specimen clearly shows scouring by moving glaciers tens of thousands, or perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago, in an age of mammoth and other now extinct mammals that lived here before man arrived on the continent," says Dr. Andrew Lawfield.

Even with the use of smaller equipment, it was no small feat and required teamwork, cooperation, and some intense manual labour. The initial crew comprising of volunteers Dr. Charles Helm, Carina Helm, and Jack Carrigan, spent two hours using pry-bars, and the creative use of small logs, were able to maneuver the rock into the ditch beside the road.

From there the District of Tumbler Ridge crew, of Sean O’Rielly, Bruce Zimmer and Hudson Zatwarniski, coordinated by Doug Beale, were successfully able to use the picker truck to recover it and transport it to the museum for safe storage and care prior to being placed on future display.

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