The ammonite fossil near Fernie.

Wildsight looks to safeguard famed fossil

The ammonite fossil has been a popular draw for tourists over the years

Wildsight Elk Valley has applied for funding to better protect the famous ammonite fossil located near Fernie.

The ammonite fossil Titanites accidentalis preserves the remains of a 1.4 m carnivorous cephalopod that lived and died some 150 million years ago.

Together with CanWel, the Fernie Trails Alliance, Tourism Fernie and the Fernie Museum, Wildsight has proposed a ‘Protecting Stories in Stone’ project to improve access, signage and awareness of the fossil in order to safeguard it for future generations.

“Due to social media coverage, the Fernie ammonite is becoming heavily visited, with local residents as well as visitors capturing and posting pictures of themselves inside the giant stone fossil truck tire,” said Wildsight, which said the hundred-million-year-old fossil was at risk of seeing too much of a good thing.

“Over time, this physical attention to the fossil will hasten its natural process of degradation, causing it to lose its scientific, natural heritage and educational value.”

Wildsight Elk Valley is seeking funding through the Regional District of East Kootenay’s (RDEK) Community Initiative for its proposal. Public comment on all proposals before the RDEK is open until March 19 2021 on the RDEK website.

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