The Resource Management Program

The Resource Management Program is a relatively small program at the Royal Tyrrell Museum consisting of myself,  Dan Spivak, Head of the Resource Management Program, and Jen, Resource Management Assistant, and typically one or two students during the summer. We do, however, draw upon the experience and expertise of many people at the Museum, including our curators and collections management staff.

The main goal of the Resource Management Program is to ensure the protection and preservation of Alberta’s palaeontological resources using the available legislative and policy tools (more on the fossil protection legislation of Alberta in my next blog post). The bulk of our time is spent reviewing applications for Historical Resources Act Clearance to determine if various developments (including gravel pits, mines, pipelines, well sites, roads, etc.) will likely impact fossils, and if so, recommending ways to mitigate any potential impacts.

We also maintain a map of most of the known fossil sites in the province, which we use to develop policies and databases such as the Listing of Historic Sites. We also provide this information to our curators and to palaeontological consultants to help them plan field work activities. Much of this work is done in conjunction with our colleagues in the Historic Resource Management Branch (we are all part of the Ministry of Alberta Culture).

We also work with people who want to collect fossils in Alberta. We process Permits to Excavate Palaeontological Resources applications for palaeontological consultants and researchers. We talk with many amateur fossil collectors, discussing the dos and don’ts of fossil collecting and ownership. We also work with commercial fossil collectors (mainly ammonite mining companies) to make sure that their activities are done legally and to ensure that significant fossils make it into the Provincial Collections held here at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

The Resource Management Program is also responsible for developing and implementing protective strategies at sensitive sites, including the Hoodoos( a relatively large project that involved several Museum programs, consultants, and contractors that took three years to complete) and Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur Egg Site. The Devil’s Coulee project is ongoing and Jen will provide updates on this blog as the project progresses.

We also coordinate the Museum’s interactions with federal government programs such as Canadian Heritage and Canadian Border Service, and with other provincial and territorial governments.

There are lots of topics to write about, but if you have any questions regarding fossil legislation, and protection, or requests for future blog posts, please send me an email. I look forward to your questions and suggestions.

-Dan Spivak, Head, Resource Management Program

water in footprints


2 thoughts on “The Resource Management Program

  1. Great to see Canada / Alberta taking the initiative to preserve its fossil heritage and more importantly make big business such as mining companies contribute to palaeontological research and preservation. I hope the Queensland govt will take notice and adopt similar strategies and policy.

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