Land assembly on Vancouver Island? Find out if your property is an archaeological site before digging! by Geraldine Santiago
Did you know that in British Columbia alone, there are over 500 examples of rock carvings and paintings that have been recorded, more than in any other province in Canada? Rock carvings or petroglyphs were made by the aboriginal people of the region. In addition, there are hundreds of known archaeological sites in Greater Victoria, with a great many more to be uncovered. Unearthing artifacts, human or animal bones or remains, rock carvings etc. are not to be removed or collected, even if it is located on your private land. All archaeological sites in BC are protected under the Heritage Conservation Act.
Many sites are uncovered during construction, so it is important to get an archaeological assessment prior to breaking ground, as an important step prior to development. You will need to consult with an archaeological firm who can provide a comprehensive consultation on archaeological, ethnographic and historical matters and can assess the effects of land alteration and development on known and potential heritage areas and sites.
All archaeological sites in BC, whether they are on public or private land cannot be altered without a permit.To find out if your property is located on an archaeological site, property owners can contact the branch to request records of potential or known archaeological sites on their property by filling out a form by going to the Ministry of Lands, Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development website here https://www.archdatarequest.nrs.gov.bc.ca/ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and expect at least three weeks turnaround time.
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