*Note: Specifically applies to BC fossils.
A few fossil localities in British Columbia are of outstanding scientific importance (e.g., Burgess Shale and Wapiti Lake, both presently protected) and merit specific protection and regulation as Paleontological Reserves. Measures of the importance of a Paleontological Reserve include, but are not limited to: uniqueness of the fossils found there (either individual specimens or associations of fossil types); unusual preservation of fossils; large, moderately-complete vertebrate remains; etc. It is the opinion of the BCPA that recommendations proposing such a locality, and the nature and extent of management of such sites, should be made known to legislators by the BCPA in consultation with other professionals having specific knowledge relevant to the proposed locality.
General scientific collecting is not permitted in Paleontological Reserves. Locality protection should be flexible, to allow for periodic revision of the status, and should be designed so as not to hinder valid scientific research at the locality.
The BCPA will seek to work directly with provincial ministries and legislators to help develop a process whereby Paleontological Reserves can be designated promptly and with the input of the BCPA.
The BCPA recognizes that valid scientific research may require that some fossil sites remain undisturbed for the duration of the study. Such sites are to be designated Paleontological Research Sites (PRS) by the BCPA. Researchers may apply to the BCPA for PRS status. Research sites would be established typically for periods of six months to two or more years, depending on the nature of the research. Collecting at the site by BCPA members is prohibited for the duration of the PRS designation. At the conclusion of the assigned study period, the site will revert to normal status unless the researcher demonstrates to the satisfaction of the BCPA that it should be further protected.
The BCPA will seek to work directly with provincial ministries and legislators to help develop a process whereby Paleontological Research Sites can be designated promptly and with the input of the BCPA.
Out-of province paleontologists should not be restricted or hindered from fossil collecting, provided they follow adequate collecting and curatorial procedures, as outlined in the above Standards and Ethics for Scientific Collecting. Out-of province paleontologists should inform the BCPA of their research program prior to initiation of their collecting program. Type specimens and general collections of fossils must be housed in appropriate institutions designated for such storage. In particular instances, the BCPA may request out-of province paleontologists to deposit a representative suite of specimens in a British Columbia museum or recognized institutional collection in the province.
The BCPA is opposed to commercial extraction of fossils by its member organization or individual. Any commercial fossil extraction activity should be regulated by the province and require permits and/or licenses, with some sort of associated fee. The BCPA anticipates that its advice will be sought and followed by regulators in assessing such permit applications for suitability.
The BCPA will seek to work directly with provincial ministries and legislators to help develop a method whereby guidelines for Commercial Fossil Collecting Standards and a Commercial Permit Application Process are established.