Under Canadian law, it is legal to hunt and sell fossils. Under the Cultural Property Act, rare fossils are protected if so designated by a paleontologist, but there are only two working in British Columbia. As such, amateur paleontologists are responsible for most of the finds. In one such recent find, a medical doctor found a series of 26 unbroken dinosaur prints along a rock wall.
Paleontologists are frustrated because “excavating a 160-million year old fossil is a delicate job that could easily be mishandled by someone with no training.”
In Sidetracked, Lougheed explores this and other stories about fossil hunting in British Columbia.
Read excerpts from the book here: Sidetracked: The Struggle for BC’s Fossils
Read the full story: Getting the dirt on B.C. fossils