Deb Arnott and the Mcabee Fossil Site

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Deb Arnott and the Mcabee Fossil Site

Deb Arnott is the Manager of Sun Country Community Futures, that is based in Ashcroft. She is also one of the leaders in regards to the Mcabee Fossil Site. The area is located east of Cache Creek, B.C., and west of Kamloops, just north of and visible from Highway 1/97. The site is part of an old lake bed which was deposited about 50 million years ago. The fossil site is the most diverse known in British Columbia for plants and insects of the Eocene Epoch. The McAbee beds are known worldwide for their incredible abundance, diversity and quality of fossils.

History: Active mineral claims in the area have raised concerns from paleontologists that scientifically important fossils, and potentially valuable scientific information may be lost as a result of mining activities.

In 2007, in response to those concerns, the Province hired an independent expert to assess the significance of the McAbee fossil beds. Dr. Mark Wilson, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, is a recognized expert in the study of similar fossil deposits.

To help ensure that significant fossils can be made available for research and to the people of B.C., the Province reached a voluntary agreement in 2008 with tenures holders and other stakeholders that outlined a strategy for the preservation of significant fossils at the site.

A provincially-funded geological and paleontological survey of the McAbee fossil beds was completed in December 2009.

On February 25, 2012, Minister Thomson announced the start of the formal process to designate the McAbee fossil beds as a provincial heritage site. This process was completed on July 19 2012. The designation would go on to protect the fossil resource and manage it to its fullest scientific and educational potential.

A Conservation Management Plan is under development, with input from stakeholders which includes the Bonaparte Indian Band, the Skeetchestn Indian Band, Heritage Canada, the Province of BC, the Thompson Nicola Regional District, Thompson Rivers University and many others. These groups will provide guidance to decision-makers when addressing issues and considering uses at the site.

Deb Arnott has been involved with the project since 2012 and has been a driving force in getting the project off the ground. Deb has sourced funding, and helped to create a business plan, along with a list of what is needed and what kind of constructing should take place. Deb says that what she has in mind is going to take at least $500,000 to start and she hopes to have certain construction aspects needed for opening done within the couple of years.

 

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Submitted by admin on Tue, 09/29/2020 - 17:22

Video Upload Date: September 28, 2020

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