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Geopark group applies for federal list

August 23, 2016 11:49 A.M.
Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

A group hoping to see the North Thompson granted special recognition for its geological heritage has decided to apply for inclusion in a new federal government list of potential UNESCO world heritage sites in Canada.

“We feel that this is an opportunity that can’t be missed with a long enough lead time that we can garner the support needed to move the application ahead,” said Catherine Hickson, a volcanologist researching the basis for UNESCO recognition.

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed for protection, education and sustainable development.

The Clearwater-based group initially set sights on UNESCO world heritage status, but opted instead to pursue the more readily attainable geopark status.

Then, earlier this month, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that, for the first time in a decade, the government will consider new world heritage sites. Communities are invited to  to nominate what they feel are Canada’s most exceptional places to Canada’s tentative list. The Clearwater group is in the process of making its application for the list.

Canada’s new nominees as UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be announced in 2017 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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