Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Land Tenures Branch
Fossil Management in British Columbia
The Land Tenure Branch is leading the implementation of the fossil management framework for British Columbia.
The development and implementation of the framework are guided by the following fossil management principles:
Endorsement of these principles led to a new regulation to exclude fossils from the definition of mineral under the Mineral Tenure Act.
The Framework objectives are to:
What are fossils?
Fossils are the preserved remains, traces or imprints of organisms from the geological past. Fossils include marks left behind by the organisms while they were alive, such as footprints (trace fossils). Fossils represent the historical record of the evolution and development of life on earth. They are important globally as well as in BC for their scientific, heritage, educational and economic value.
Paleontology includes the study of fossils, their formation over geological time, and the evolutionary relationships between groups.
Fossil beds deposited at various time and under diverse circumstances contain different fossils. British Columbia has a rich and diverse variety of fossils and fossil deposits resulting from the complex geological processes that formed the province.
Although the distribution of the fossil resource is poorly understood within British Columbia, known site concentrations are found on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands, in the Princeton-Merritt-Kamloops area, in southeastern and northeastern British Columbia and the Central Interior Plateau.
94% of the land in British Columbia is Provincial Crown Land
5% is privately owned
1% is Federal Crown land