Part of National Rock Collection To be Dumped - Is This A Concern? Probably.

The excellent folks at Blacklocks Reporter are reporting that the geological Survey of Canada is throwing away part of its mineral and soil collection. 

The Canadian Geological Survey said it will dump tons of minerals and soil samples carefully collected for scientific research

Now, I am not a geologist so I contacted one who used to work for the GSC and asked "is this a concern?" His answer? 


Now, I personally don't know the research utility of a mineral and soil collection, but I can understand how collections that span large areas and are collected over long periods of time could be useful. Changes over time, for example, in soil composition that could be linked to pollution, or leaching of nutrients due to changes in landcover - that sort of thing.

My contact stated that all long term collections at GSC are at risk until we understand more, and bemoaned what he perceived as short-term thinking.

So what was the impetus for this action - the root cause? Budgets? Shifting research priorities? And exactly what is it that the GSC is throwing away anyhow? How was it determined that those samples are disposable? What research could use these samples? Were the samples offered to any other institutions and, if not, why not? What is the potential long term consequences of these samples being lost?

Anybody want to weight in? After all, in the absence of facts conjecture will take over and - this being the internet and all - it could get ugly quickly.