Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy by m8GMX9BA


									The Chilliwack River
Watershed Strategy
Promoting and Improving the Sustainability
    of the Chilliwack River Watershed

              Fraser Valley Regional District
              Fisheries and Oceans Canada
       Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition
                   Fraser Basin Council

The Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy would not have been able to be completed without the
dedicated effort and vision of the many individuals and organizations that provided their
valuable knowledge, experience, ideas, funding, and inspiration.

Partners and Funders:
     Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Fraser Basin Council
     Fraser Valley Regional District
     Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition
     Pacific Salmon Foundation (Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program)

Project Team Participants:
    Bob Stanton (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
    Brad Mason (Fisheries and Oceans Canada & Community Mapping Network)
    Brad Whittaker (Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition & University College of
        the Fraser Valley)
    David Barnes (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
    David Lamson (Fraser Valley Regional District & Chilliwack River Action Committee)
    Doug Wilson (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Frank Sobkowich (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Graham Daneluz (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Jack Mussell (Skwah First Nation & Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribes)
    Kevin Walker (Integrated Land Management Bureau)
    Krista Englund (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Lance Lilley (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Marion Robinson (Fraser Basin Council)
    Mark Johnson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
    Matt Foy (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
    Meeri Durand (Fraser Valley Regional District)
    Nelson Kahama (Soowahlie First Nation)
    Sylvia Letay (Ministry of Environment)
    Tom Cadieux (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Executive Summary
Nestled within the spectacular Cascade Mountains to where it drains into the mighty Fraser
River, the Chilliwack River Watershed represents more than fish and wildlife, more than a
recreation destination, more than a source of important resources and revenue, and more than a
place people have called home for thousands of years – it represents a unique opportunity to still
have the chance to find a balance between all of these values before one or more of them are
gone. This is the motivating goal of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy (CRWS).

CRWS originated in 2003 as a pilot for the Watershed-based Fish Sustainability Planning
(WFSP) process, a framework derived jointly by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the
Province of BC. Through a partnership between DFO, the Fraser Valley Regional District
(FVRD) and the Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition (FVRWC), a planning process
was initiated “to provide a common understanding of watershed values, based on sound science
and local knowledge, to assist in decision making that will promote and improve the
sustainability of the Chilliwack River Watershed.” A multi-stakeholder planning team was
formed with participation from all levels of government, First Nations, and non- profit and
community organizations to discuss the various values and watershed issues present within the
Chilliwack River Watershed. Through consensus, this project team derived the analysis and the
recommendations presented in this report.

Although originally focused on fish and fisheries, because of the interconnectedness of all
activities in a watershed and the need to balance all values in order to achieve sustainability, the
scope of CRWS expanded beyond fish to also include forestry, mining, development, illegal
dumping, river hazards, and other issues and concerns raised through public outreach activities
as part of the planning process. For each issue, finding the appropriate balance between the
different values present in the watershed became the challenge facing the project team.
Achieving this balance is the key to long-term health and sustainability, a goal shared by all who
have lived, worked, recreated, visited, or appreciated what this special place has to offer.

In addition to this document, the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy is also:
     A website (,
     A background report (,
     A reference database (,
     A mapping atlas (,
     A series of Issues and Alternatives Reports that include an overview assessment and
        analysis of the main issues identified throughout the CRWS process
        (, and
     Improved relationships and understandings between the multiple individuals, agencies,
        and organizations involved in this collaborative planning process.

These planning products and greater understandings amongst stakeholders will not persist
indefinitely. Materials get outdated and people change jobs or move away. As a result, it is
important that CRWS remains both a living document and an active process so that it continually
reflects the changing and complex values within the watershed. This responsibility is on
everybody who lives, works, recreates, visits, or appreciates the Chilliwack River Watershed.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................................... ii
Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................................... iii
Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................................... iv
1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1
2.0 Overview of the Chilliwack River Watershed ....................................................................................... 1
   2.1 Location and Context......................................................................................................................... 2
   2.2 Uses and Values within the Chilliwack River Watershed ................................................................. 5
   2.3 Finding Common Ground .................................................................................................................. 6
3.0 Watershed Planning for the Chilliwack River Watershed ..................................................................... 7
   3.1 Watershed-based Fish Sustainability Planning .................................................................................. 7
   3.2 Why the Chilliwack River Watershed? ............................................................................................. 7
   3.3 Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy - A unique approach for a unique place ................................ 8
4.0 Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy - Process Overview.................................................................... 8
   4.1 Vision and Objectives ........................................................................................................................ 8
   4.2 Initial Public Engagement and Input ................................................................................................. 9
   4.3 Planning Process and Structure ....................................................................................................... 10
   4.4 CRWS Outputs and Outcome .......................................................................................................... 11
5.0 Issues and Concerns in Chilliwack River Watershed .......................................................................... 12
   5.1 Wildlife and Habitat ........................................................................................................................ 12
      1. Biodiversity/Species-at-Risk ......................................................................................................... 12
      2. Habitat Restoration and Enhancement .......................................................................................... 15
      3. Fish Hatchery Production and Management ................................................................................. 16
      4. Invasive Species ............................................................................................................................ 19
   5.2 Settlement and Growth .................................................................................................................... 21
      5. Stó:lō Cultural Heritage Resource Management ........................................................................... 21
      6. Commercial, Institutional, and Residential Development ............................................................. 23
      7. River Hazards (flooding, etc.) ....................................................................................................... 25
   5.3 Resource Extraction ......................................................................................................................... 27
      8. Mining ........................................................................................................................................... 27
      9. Forestry and Forest Management .................................................................................................. 28
      10. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) .......................................................................................... 30
   5.4 Human Activities ............................................................................................................................. 33
      11. Recreation.................................................................................................................................... 33
      12. Sport Angling Behaviour ............................................................................................................ 35
      13. Illegal Dumping........................................................................................................................... 37
   5.5 Issues and Concerns not Addressed by CRWS ............................................................................... 38
6.0 CRWS Recommendations.................................................................................................................... 38
7.0 Next Steps ............................................................................................................................................ 44
8.0 Summary .............................................................................................................................................. 45
Appendices.................................................................................................................................................. 46
   A. Project Participants ........................................................................................................................... 46
   B. Abbreviations Used........................................................................................................................... 47
   C. What’s in a logo? .............................................................................................................................. 48

1.0 Introduction
The Chilliwack River Watershed has been shaped by natural processes as well as by human
activities. Earlier than 10,000 years ago the Chilliwack River Valley was covered in massive
glaciers and lakes. This geological activity carved the landscape that is known today. Now the
Chilliwack River winds its way down the Valley from the northern Cascade Mountains through
Chilliwack Lake where it eventually drains into the Fraser River. After the glaciers retreated, a
variety of plants and animals colonized the area and formed rich ecosystems that sustained First
Nations populations for thousands of years. Europeans settled in the area when gold was
discovered in the Fraser Valley in the late 1800’s, and the watershed began another
transformation into its present state.

Through all these changes, the Chilliwack River Watershed has maintained its high biological
and cultural values while becoming a place of high recreational, economic, and historic value for
local residents and visitors alike. However, the various natural and human activities in the
watershed, and outside pressures, are threatening the River and the values it supports. In 2005,
the Chilliwack-Vedder River returned to British Columbia’s Endangered Rivers List. Effective
planning of the land uses and activities and cooperation between all parties with an interest in the
watershed are needed to ensure the Chilliwack River and its numerous values are maintained

In 2003, the Chilliwack River Watershed was selected as a pilot project for Watershed-based
Fish Sustainability Planning (WFSP), a planning process jointly prepared by Fisheries and
Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Province of British Columbia to guide and encourage local
initiatives and partnerships in protecting and restoring fish habitat and populations on a
watershed basis. The Chilliwack River was chosen as a pilot for the program due to its high level
of biological productivity, increased pressures on its resources, and the opportunity for the
involvement of multi-jurisdictional and multi-faceted interests.

In 2004, a project team of representatives from government agencies came together to begin to
develop a strategy for the future of the Chilliwack River Watershed. Named the Chilliwack River
Watershed Strategy, the purpose of this multi-stakeholder, collaborative planning process was:

       “to provide a common understanding of watershed values, based on sound
       science and local knowledge, to assist in decision making that will promote and
       improve the sustainability of the Chilliwack River Watershed”.

This is the goal that has inspired this process, for the benefit of watershed as well as for everyone
who uses or enjoys this special place.

2.0 Overview of the Chilliwack River Watershed
The overview presented below is intended to provide some important context about the
Chilliwack River Watershed, but is not intended as a complete watershed profile. For more

information about the history, geology, hydrology, biology, and land usage of the watershed, see
the background document prepared as a companion document to this Strategy.1

2.1 Location and Context
Lying within the Traditional Territory of the Stó:lō First Nation (“people of the river”), the
Chilliwack River Watershed is located approximately 100 km east of Vancouver, BC (see figure
below). Due to its proximity to major urban centers in the Greater Vancouver region, the
Chilliwack River Watershed is easily accessible to millions of people who are attracted to the
area’s high quality recreational opportunities.

The Chilliwack River is the largest drainage in the Northwest Cascades. It has a catchment of
over 1,215 square kilometers from its origins at Ruth Mountain above Chilliwack Lake in
Washington State to its confluence with Sweltzer Creek, at which point it becomes the Vedder
River. Major tributaries to the Chilliwack River include Sweltzer Creek, Liumchen Creek,
Tamihi Creek, Slesse Creek, Nesakwatch Creek, and Centre Creek from the southern slopes;
Ryder Creek, Chipmunk Creek, Foley Creek, Post Creek, Depot Creek, and Paleface Creek from
the northern slopes.

Regional context for the Chilliwack River Watershed

  The background report on the Chilliwack River Watershed is available on the CRWS website
( and is also presented as the first chapter in In the Arms of the
Mountains: A History of the Chilliwack River Valley by the Chilliwack River Valley Historical Society (available
through the Chilliwack Museum).

The majority of the upper reaches of the watershed are provided a level of protection as part of
the Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, the North Cascades National Park, or the Mount Baker
Wilderness Area. While the river remains largely wild and natural in its upper reaches, the lower
reaches have been modified by canals, diversions, streambank modifications, and the drainage of
Sumas Lake.

While recognizing the importance of all areas of the watershed towards downstream health and
sustainability, the focus of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy remained on the Canadian
portion of the watershed upstream of Vedder Crossing, excluding the Cultus Lake drainage. It is
hoped that the outcomes, the relationships, and the momentum formed as a result of CRWS will
inspire similar planning processes be engaged to help ‘fill in the gaps’ within the Chilliwack
Watershed, and result in a complete strategy for the entire watershed. Identified as a potential
Phase 2 of CRWS, one such process has already been initiated for the Cultus Lake sub-
watershed, capitalizing on the momentum generated and relationships established through the
CRWS process. Initiated in October 2007, the ‘Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy’
(CLASS) has been working towards “preserving and enhancing water quality of Cultus Lake for
the benefit of ecosystems”. Taken together, CRWS and CLASS will provide a solid framework
for achieving sustainability within the Chilliwack River Watershed.

The Chilliwack River Watershed – note that the planning area for this phase encompasses the area of the watershed north of the Canada-US border, excluding
the section around Cultus Lake (identified as ‘phase 2’)

2.2 Uses and Values within the Chilliwack River Watershed
The Chilliwack River Watershed contains numerous features and characteristics that people find
special and worth protecting or preserving. The watershed means different things to different
people and balancing these sometimes conflicting watershed values can be a challenge.

       Wildlife and biodiversity values: The area includes over 40 mammal species, 20
        reptile/amphibian species, 130 bird species, and 35 endangered or at-risk species
        including tall bugbane, phantom orchid, North Cascades grizzly bear, mountain beaver,
        Pacific giant salamander, Oregon forestsnail, marbled murrelet, Pacific watershrew, red-
        legged frog, tailed frog, painted turtle, Salish sucker, and the Cultus pygmy sculpin. The
        latter species is found nowhere on the planet outside if this watershed.

       Fish and fish habitat values: The Chilliwack River system supports a wide variety of
        fish species, including cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, Rocky Mountain whitefish, Dolly
        Varden char, bull trout, and all six species of Pacific salmon – sockeye, coho, Chinook,
        chum, pink, and steelhead. All salmon species have suffered population declines due to
        factors such as habitat loss and fishing pressures, with some populations recovering and
        some still in peril (e.g., Cultus Lake sockeye).

       Resource values: The first European settlers were drawn to the watershed for its ample
        supply of forestry and mining opportunities. Timber remains the most important
        economic resource in the Watershed to both non-First Nations as well as First Nations.
        The value of forestry in the Watershed, as of 1995, was 11.4 million dollars and over 124
        direct jobs. Mining has occurred for over 100 years, with the Red Mountain Mine
        operating from 1899 to1942. Today, numerous metal mineral tenures exist within the
        watershed, but the primary mineral products extracted include construction and industrial
        products such as sand and gravel aggregates. Additional opportunities for run-of-river
        power production are also currently being explored within the watershed.

       Recreation values: Next to the Fraser River, the Chilliwack River Watershed supports
        the highest volume of recreational use of any watershed in the Province. It is estimated
        that approximately 1.5 million users or more visited the Chilliwack River Watershed in
        2005. While the watershed hosts a wide variety of outdoor activities, including camping,
        hiking, mountain biking, caving, kayaking, boating, whitewater rafting, and rock
        climbing, angling remains the largest single recreational activity and the reason why the
        watershed has become a recreation destination for thousands every year. The combined
        fisheries for coho, chum, chinook, and steelhead contribute to over 90,000 angling days
        per year spent along the Chilliwack River. 1

       Cultural heritage values: Archaeological evidence of human settlement in the watershed
        extends back over 5,000 thousand years. The Chilliwack River Watershed lies within the
        traditional territory of the Stó:lō First Nation as defined by the Stó:lō Nation and Stó:lō
        Tribal Council. The Chilliwack River Watershed is the homeland of the Ch-ihl-kway-

 EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., 2001. Chilliwack River Watershed restoration plan. Final Report. Submitted to
Cattermole Timber, Chilliwack, BC.

       uhk Tribe and contains the Soowahlie Reserve, the only First Nation Reserve land within
       the watershed. The Chilliwack River is considered a significant cultural landscape
       feature, or ‘Transformer site,’ as are a number of peaks within the watershed, including
       Mount McGuire, Mount Slesse, and the Cheam Range.

      Residential values: Non-First Nation settlers began settling in the Chilliwack River
       Watershed in the 19th century following the discovery of gold in the Fraser Canyon.
       Gold seekers used the Chilliwack River Watershed as a travel route over the Cascades,
       and since then, have been attracted to the watershed for a number of economic and
       recreational opportunities. Current residencies include the Soowahlie Reserve, the
       hamlets of Post Creek, Slesse Park, Bell Acres, Williamsburg, and Wilson Road, and the
       trailer parks of Baker Trails and the Chilliwack River Estates. In total, approximately
       2,000 individuals reside within the Chilliwack River Watershed.

2.3 Finding Common Ground
The various values (or cultures, perspectives, uses, or priorities) present within the Chilliwack
River Watershed highlights the urgent need to achieve an appropriate and sustainable balance
that does not risk the long-term health of the watershed. Understanding these values and
working together is essential to minimizing the sometimes inevitable conflicts that occur. How
do we maintain the intrinsic value of a watershed for the common good? How do we work
smarter? How can we connect resource-extraction interests to watershed protection interests?
How do we foster a sense of ownership or respect of the watershed amongst visitors or tourists
who view the watershed as their own person playground? How do we make sure that the
investments and commitments made by many towards the watershed health are not wiped out
from one quick decision made in isolation and without full consideration of the consequences to
the watershed?

Sound and sustainable management of fisheries, forests, land use, and ecosystems depends on
access to information and knowledge that is current, reliable, and credible. Government
agencies, residents, First Nations, industry, and other users of the watershed must share an
understanding so that the actions and decisions of each are coordinated and working toward the
same goals. As resource development and human populations increase, pressures on government
agencies to respond to these land development demands increase. A lack of knowledge of
sensitive habitats, watercourses, wetlands, species-at-risk, water supplies, and other watershed
values presents challenges for effective growth management and impact mitigation.

Appropriate tools (e.g., websites, mapping, common databases, etc) are essential for effective
management and sharing of data and knowledge amongst decision-makers. Additionally,
dynamic and effective relationships between government and community help to ensure that the
community and stakeholder values are reflected in the decisions being made and that the
community and stakeholders are well informed about policies and proposals that may affect their
values. Site tours, dialogues, open houses, access to information, and input into the decision-
making processes while they are occurring ensure that this shared understanding exists and that
all stakeholders are working on achieving common ground under a common vision.

The need for identifying this common vision for the Chilliwack River Watershed and how to
work towards achieving it was recognized by stakeholders interested in preserving and protecting
this important watershed. This recognition motivated the resultant watershed planning process
for the Chilliwack River Watershed.

3.0 Watershed Planning for the Chilliwack River Watershed
3.1 Watershed-based Fish Sustainability Planning
Jointly developed by Federal and Provincial governments, ‘Watershed-based Fish Sustainability
Planning’ (WFSP) was introduced in 2001 to help manage and protect fish and fish habitat
within BC’s watersheds. The WFSP Guidebook for Participants 1 was produced to assist
watershed groups and local stakeholders to develop sustainability plans for their watersheds.
This guidebook provided the basic framework for preparing a watershed plan, mostly with a fish
focus but remaining flexible and non-prescriptive enough to allow groups to adapt the process to
fit the local situations and issues.

Without describing all of the details and steps described in the Guidebook, the primary features
for achieving the goal of ensuring “effective long-term conservation of fish and fish habitat” in
the WFSP process include:
     Cooperation between different levels of government
     Stakeholder engagement through a multi-stakeholder collaborative process
     Coordination with ongoing initiatives
     Focusing on watersheds due to the interconnections and dependency on all aspects of
        watershed health and function
     Identifying watershed priorities to achieve the greatest benefits to fish and their habitat
     Using the best information current available.

Three watersheds from different regions were identified to “pilot” the WFSP process: the
Salmon River Watershed in the BC Interior, the Henderson Lake Watershed on Vancouver
Island, and the Chilliwack River Watershed in the BC lower mainland. This latter watershed is
the focus of this report.

3.2 Why the Chilliwack River Watershed?
As previously described, the Chilliwack River Watershed has rich and abundant recreational,
environmental, wildlife, and resource values significant in both a local and a regional context.
Balancing the often-conflicting values remains a challenge however, proven by dramatic losses
of critical fish habitat and reduced salmon stocks in the watershed over the last century.

The Chilliwack River Watershed was selected as a regional WFSP pilot for a number of reasons:

 Fraser, Jenny, 2001. Watershed-based Fish Sustainability Planning: Conserving BC fish populations and their
habitat: a guidebook for participants. Report for BC Ministry of Fisheries, BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and
Parks, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

    1. It contains important populations of all six Pacific salmon – coho, chinook, sockeye,
       chum, pink, and steelhead – all of which have demonstrated varying degrees of
       population declines over the last century due to habitat loss and other factors;
    2. Given its fish values as well as its proximity to major population centres, it is a major
       destination for angling opportunities;
    3. It represents a large and complex watershed with various development pressures and
       potential stressors on the existing fish and fish habitat;
    4. It has a high likelihood of success because of the potential for partnerships;
    5. It was not included in regional land use planning initiatives (e.g., Land and Resource
       Management Plans, LRMPs).

3.3 Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy - A unique approach for a unique place
In 2004, a partnership was created between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Fraser Valley
Regional District, and a local community group, the Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds
Coalition, to work towards achieving a watershed plan for the Chilliwack River Watershed. This
partnership provided the required institutional support and experience for the project to move
forward, and enabled the staffing of a watershed coordinator to coordinate the process.

Based on initial discussions with project partners, it was decided that in order to adequately
address the range of issues affecting the Chilliwack River Watershed, a broader scope was going
to be needed beyond a ‘fish-focused’ approach taken by other WFSP initiatives. Additionally, it
was decided that the best approach for such a complex watershed would be more of a ‘strategy’
than a ‘plan’, because rather than specifically defining tasks, champions, and timeframes as
would be expected in a ‘plan’, the Chilliwack project would be less prescriptive and would focus
more on goals and objectives for achieving watershed sustainability. As a result, the process was
titled the “Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy” (CRWS).

CRWS is not a legislative-driven process, is not an exercise in land allocation, and will not
directly result in new regulations. Rather, it is a volunteer, multi-stakeholder collaboration
designed to improve understandings and to provide a long-term strategic and proactive
framework for improving the overall health of the Chilliwack River Watershed and for providing
a sustainable balance to the variety of existing values within the watershed.

4.0 Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy - Process Overview
4.1 Vision and Objectives
Through discussions amongst interested stakeholders, the following purpose of CRWS was
        “to provide a common understanding of watershed values, based on sound
        science and local knowledge, to assist in decision making that will promote and
        improve the sustainability 1 of the Chilliwack River Watershed.”

  Sustainability as defined as undertaking environmental, economic, and social activities in a manner that ensures
local and global ecosystem structures and functions are able to maintain themselves in perpetuity.

Four project objectives were also defined:
       1. To develop and build upon new and existing relationships and partnerships;
       2. To establish a common understanding of the Chilliwack River watershed based on
           existing knowledge;
       3. To identify and assess shared issues and priorities within the Chilliwack River
       4. To measure and monitor progress through established cost effective indicators and
           regular reporting.

4.2 Initial Public Engagement and Input
With these objectives, a public watershed forum was held on the evening of December 1, 2005 in
the Chilliwack River Watershed. An invitation to participate in the forum was sent to residents
and to local First Nations as well as to representatives of businesses, recreation associations,
stewardship groups, and other stakeholders. At the forum, attendees learned about the
Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy and identified characteristics that they like about the
Chilliwack River Watershed as well as watershed concerns.

In conjunction with the forum, a questionnaire was distributed via mail to residents and other
stakeholders. A web-based version of the survey was available on the Chilliwack River
Watershed Strategy website. Individuals who attended the watershed forum were also given a
copy of the questionnaire. The questionnaire asked individuals to reply to the following
     What do you like best about the Chilliwack River Watershed?
     What do you want the Chilliwack River Watershed to be like in 20-50 years?
     What 3 things are you concerned about with respect to maintaining the natural, social,
       and economic values associated with the Chilliwack River Watershed?

Through the dialogues, questionnaires, and surveys conducted amongst stakeholders,
respondents and participants identified the characteristics that they liked the best about the
Chilliwack River Watershed. These characteristics included the following broad categories:
environmental quality, aesthetic quality, physical landscape, recreational opportunities, rural
lifestyle, and community.

Stakeholder thoughts about the future of the watershed were summarized into the following
community vision:

       The community would like the Chilliwack River Watershed to be much as it is
       today, except with improved recreation and garbage management, limited and
       controlled development (e.g. small scale, low impact), and more sustainable
       resource extraction activities (e.g. fishing, forestry). They envision a valley that
       (a) is as close to natural as possible with sustainable populations of native
       wildlife, intact ecosystems, and clean air and water, (b) is respected by users, and
       (c) will continue to be enjoyed by future generations.

A full summary of the watershed forum and survey results are provided on the CRWS website

The various concerns identified by stakeholders regarding the natural, social, and economic
values within the Chilliwack River Watershed were categorized into 13 key issues (see table
below). These issues formed the framework for the subsequent analysis and recommendations as
part of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy.

Key issues and concerns identified about the Chilliwack River Watershed
  Wildlife and Habitat        Settlement and Growth           Resource Extraction       Human Activities
 1.   Biodiversity &         5.   Sto:lo Cultural          8.   Mining                11. Recreation
      Species-at-Risk             Heritage Resource        9.   Forestry and Forest   12. Sport Angling
 2.   Fish Habitat                Management                    Management                Behaviour
      Restoration &          6.   Residential,             10. Run-of-River           13. Illegal Dumping
      Enhancement                 Commercial, &                Independent Power
 3.   Fish Hatchery               Institutional                Producer Projects
      Production                  Development                  (IPPs)
 4.   Invasive Species       7.   River Hazards
                                  (flooding, etc.)

4.3 Planning Process and Structure
Following the establishment of the partnership between the Fraser Valley Regional District,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition, roundtable
discussions helped to identify additional stakeholders to invite to the planning process. A Project
Team was formed as the primary planning table body, which included representation from the
federal government, provincial government, local government, First Nations, local organizations,
and community groups (see table below).

Agencies and organizations that participated on the CRWS Project Team
 Federal Government                   Local Government                      Non Profit and Community
     Fisheries and Oceans                Fraser Valley Regional           Organizations
         Canada                              District                          Chilliwack River Action
                                          City of Chilliwack                    Committee
 Provincial Government                                                         Community Mapping
     Ministry of                     First Nations                              Network
        Environment                        Soowahlie First Nation             Fraser Basin Council
     Ministry of Forests and              Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribes             Fraser Valley Regional
        Range                              Skway First Nation                   Watersheds Coalition
     Ministry of                          Sto:lo Research and                Pacific Salmon
        Transportation                        Resource Management                Foundation
     Integrated Land                         Centre                           Great Blue Heron Nature
        Management Bureau                                                        Reserve
                                                                               University College of the
                                                                                 Fraser Valley

A Terms of Reference was created ( and an
external facilitator (from the Fraser Basin Council) was added to chair the process. Project Team
meetings were held every one or two months and tours were conducted to familiarize the Project
Team with the watershed and the issues it faced. Decision-making was by consensus.

The Project Team was not intended to be a large stakeholder table encompassing all possible
interests and agendas working towards ‘dividing up the pie’; rather, its primary purpose was to
engage decision-making agencies into the planning process and to facilitate information sharing
and improved communication. Non-profit and community groups were added to aid this
process. Additional stakeholders not on the Project Team were able to provide input through
working groups, through providing feedback on draft documents, and through public meetings
and open houses. The planning framework was also designed through stakeholder input
collected early in the process to identify the community vision and the issues of concern in the

For each of the major issues or concerns raised through stakeholder input, members of the
Project Team or working group provided an analysis of the issue and prepared an Issues and
Alternatives Report. This report includes a review of the issue in the context of the Chilliwack
River Watershed, an analysis of the impact and cause of the issue, and a list of options and
recommendations for addressing the issue. These draft reports were then presented to the Project
Team and were either approved through consensus or amended as required. Once approved, the
draft Issues and Alternatives Reports were posted to the CRWS website where the community
and stakeholders were invited to provide additional input and comments. The resultant feedback
was incorporated into document revisions.

4.4 CRWS Outputs and Outcome
This document is only one component of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy. It is
intended to be complemented by the numerous other products produced through the CRWS
process. These additional products include:
     a website (,
     a background report (,
     a reference database (,
       compiled of over 230 documents related to the Chilliwack River Watershed, many of
       which were previously only located within numerous government agency and staff
       offices not readily accessible to other decision-makers and to the public,
     a mapping atlas ( (see table
     a series of issue analyses papers (Issues and Alternatives Reports) that include an
       overview assessment and analysis of the main issues identified from the CRWS process.

Maps produced as part of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy (available on the CRWS website)
 Context/ Overview:                                       Species-at-risk:
   Overview map                                             Deer and goat winter ranges
   Satellite image                                          Spotted Owl Management Plan
   Jurisdictional boundaries                                Old Growth Management Areas

 Physical:                                           Natural Processes/Hazards:
   Watercourses                                       Wildfire history
   Sub-watersheds                                     Floodplain hazards
   Aquifers
   Historical drainage patterns                     Tenure/Land Use:
   Topography maps                                    Communities and Development
   Basic geology                                      Agriculture Land Reserve
   Surficial geology                                  Forest tenures
                                                       Parks and Protected Areas
 Fish:                                                 Mining
    Fish Presence - Salmonid Distribution             IPPs
    Fish Presence - Spawning Distribution
    Fish Presence - Spawning Locations              Restoration and Enhancement:
                                                       Restoration Sites and Priorities

As with other watershed planning processes, the final product or ‘strategy’ is not the only benefit
of undertaking such a project. Improved relationships and understandings between project
participants (i.e., social capital) and improved information and data sharing about the watershed
were other intended outcomes of the CRWS process, outcomes of considerable value given the
complexity of the watershed and the jurisdictional overlaps that involve all levels of government.
Personal connections and understandings forged through a collaborative process such as CRWS
will lead to both a greater understanding of each other’s points of view as well as a stronger
assurance that decisions being made that affect the watershed will not be made in isolation
without the consideration of other stakeholders. This is what is required to achieve the balance
of values needed for the watershed.

5.0 Issues and Concerns in Chilliwack River Watershed
Analysis for each of the 13 main Chilliwack River Watershed issues and concerns identified
through stakeholder input and CRWS dialogues were provided by Project Team participants and
working groups. Complete analyses and recommendations are available on the CRWS website
( Issues analyses are summarized below.
Recommendations from the CRWS Project Team for addressing the issues are summarized in the
subsequent section.

5.1 Wildlife and Habitat
1. Biodiversity/Species-at-Risk
The Chilliwack River Watershed supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including numerous
species-at-risk, due to the large expanse of relatively in-tact wilderness within the watershed as
well as the variety of elevations and habitat types available. Habitat types include old growth
forest, mature forest, alpine meadows, rocky slopes, glaciers, riparian, wetlands, off-channel,
streams, lakes, settlement areas, caves, etc. The Chilliwack River Watershed lies within the
Chilliwack Forest District, which currently supports nearly 200 identified species at risk, many
of which are described in more detail below. Of particular significance is the numerous species,
including the Cultus pygmy sculpin, the phantom orchid, and the Pacific giant salamander, that

are completely dependent on the habitat provided within the Chilliwack River Watershed for the
species survival.

The Chilliwack River Watershed is rich in botanical diversity due to the variety of habitat types
and differences in ecological communities and elevation. There are also several rare plant
communities and species within the watershed. Cliff paintbrush is a red-listed species of
wildflower associated with alpine meadows found on Mount Lindeman and Mount Cheam. Tall
bugbane is recognized and protected as an endangered species under the federal Species at Risk
Act (SARA). It is found in association with several of the watersheds’ drainages. The phantom
orchid is another red-listed species listed as threatened under SARA. The watershed also contains
a number of Provincial blue-listed species of plants, including Cascade parsley fern, short-fruited
smelowskia (also known as alpine false candytuft), and alpine anemone.

There are over 20 reptiles and amphibians, 130 bird species, and 40 mammal species recorded
for the Chilliwack River Watershed, including the endangered North Cascades grizzly bear,
Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, mountain goat, black bear, cougar, bald eagle, osprey, and
screech owl.1

Red-listed species include mountain beaver, Pacific giant salamander, Oregon forestsnail,
marbled murrelet, Pacific watershrew, long-tailed weasel, red-legged frog, and Keen’s long-
eared bat. Blue-listed species include tailed frog, green-backed heron, great blue heron, turkey
vulture, black-chinned hummingbird, Townsend’s big-eared bat and painted turtle.

The Chilliwack River system supports a wide variety of fish species, including cutthroat trout,
rainbow trout, Rocky Mountain whitefish, Dolly Varden char, bull trout, sculpin, Salish sucker,
and all six pacific salmon species: chinook, sockeye, pink, chum, coho, and steelhead. Bull trout
is a blue-listed species in British Columbia and is considered vulnerable. The Provincial red-
listed Salish sucker has also been listed as endangered by both the Committee for the Status of
Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and federal Species at Risk legislation. This species
has been recorded in small numbers within Salwein Creek and Street Creek. The watershed also
contains the only known living specimens of the Cultus pygmy sculpin, a small and unique fish
listed as threatened under COSEWIC and SARA.

Salmon productivity in the watershed is largely dependent on freshwater habitat conditions,
hatchery production, harvest levels, and ocean habitat conditions. All salmon species have
suffered population declines, but some have shown signs of recovery. After dramatic habitat
losses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, freshwater habitat conditions within
the Chilliwack River Watershed began to stabilize over the past twenty years as fire damaged

 Litke, S. 1997. Chilliwack Community Snapshot: A profile of the natural features, human uses and states of the
Elk Creek and Ryder Creek Watersheds. Watershed Alliance of British Columbia.
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. 2005. BC Water Resources Atlas. Available at: Accessed September 29, 2005.

and logged forests have begun to recover.1 Active fish habitat restoration programs in the
Watershed begun in the early 1980’s and continuing today have accelerated the recovery of
damaged fish habitats. Many of the fish populations in the Chilliwack River are now moving in
a positive direction; however, there is still concern over the status of some species (e.g., Salish
sucker, Cultus Lake sockeye salmon, wild coho salmon, and native spring chinook salmon).
Further efforts are needed to recover lost and damaged fish habitat within the Watershed that
support these populations.

Additional information about the status and population trends of salmonid populations in the
Chilliwack River Watershed is provided in the CRWS Background Report (available online at:

Watershed Concerns
The primary issues or causes of biodiversity loss in the Chilliwack River Watershed include:
    Historical and current habitat loss and destruction (river diversion, deforestation,
       dewatering, etc.)
    Habitat fragmentation (roads, trails, etc.)
    Habitat disturbance (resource extraction, recreation)
    Pollution (water quality, air quality)
    Invasive species
    Recreation (hunting, fishing)
    Climate change

Protecting the biodiversity within the Chilliwack River Watershed not only helps to preserve all
of the existing values that depend on a healthy and resilient ecosystem, but also leaves a legacy
to future generations of the natural beauty and diversity of the watershed. While some of the
contributing factors to biodiversity loss in the watershed such as the lack of adequate and up-to-
date information and the lack of appreciation or ignorance about the value of preserving and
protecting all species can be addressed in this watershed strategy, other causes such as
inadequate legislation or enforcement of existing laws will need to be addressed at a larger scale.

The following table provides a list of useful information sources regarding species at risk in BC.

                             Webpage                                       URL
        BC Ministry of Environment site on biodiversity in
        BC                                                   htm.
        Ministry of Environment – Endangered Species and
        South Coast Conservation Program           
        BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer         
        Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) Registry
        BC Forest and Range Practices Act and how to
        provide review and comment on Forestry related

    Foy, M. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Pers. comm.

     Species at Risk Recovery Planning in BC          
     Conservation Data Centre                         
     BC Best Management Practices and Guideline       
     documents for environmental stewardship                    P/bmpintro.html.
     Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy (includes full         http://www.chilliwackwatershedstra
     Issues and Alternatives Report on Species-at-    
     Species at Risk & Local Government: A Primer for 
     British Columbia
     Community Mapping Network                        
     Fish Wizard (Go Fish BC, Freshwater Fisheries    
     Society of BC)

2. Habitat Restoration and Enhancement
Habitat conditions are dynamic and constantly change over time. While these changes may be
natural, human activities within a watershed can greatly alter both the rate and the scale of these
habitat changes, often resulting in negative consequences for certain flora and fauna within the
watershed. As a result, restoring and enhancing habitat to attempt to return the natural
environment to some predetermined state of quality has become an important aspect of habitat
management. Because of the significance of fish and fisheries within the Chilliwack River
Watershed, this report focuses on the restoration and enhancement of fish and riparian habitat,
but recognizes the value of all species within the watershed.

Within the Chilliwack River Watershed, fish production is constrained by a number of limiting
habitat conditions, including the relative lack of off-channel and mainstem refugia and rearing
habitat, reduced quantities of instream large woody debris, bank destabilization, river widening,
and increased sediment load. Many of these factors have been affected by human activities. For
example, past timber harvesting, development, and dyke/road construction have reduced the
abundance and quality of off-channel habitats. Forestry activities (e.g., road construction) may
increase soil erosion and sedimentation, nutrient loading, in-stream hydrologic and temperature
changes, and decreased water quality. Forestry is also associated with issues around landslides,
large woody debris, fish blockages, and increased human access throughout the watershed.

Between 1995 and 2001, over $2.3 million dollars was invested by Fisheries Renewal BC into
restoration projects in the Chilliwack River Watershed.1 Projects included road deactivations,
riparian plantings, landslide rehabilitation/stabilization, and instream or off-channel works.

Natural fish production in the Chilliwack River, particularly for species such as coho salmon, is
currently believed to be limited by the lack of existing off-channel refugia and rearing habitat,
instream LWD, instream pool complexes, and stable spawning beds (EBA Engineering, 2001).
Addressing these watershed needs are critical to improving the productivity of the watershed.

 EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., 2001. Chilliwack River Watershed restoration plan. Final Report. Submitted to
Cattermole Timber, Chilliwack, BC.

Vision and Goals
Vision: The Chilliwack River Watershed contains the amount and diversity of quality habitat
needed to support healthy and robust populations of all native species.

   1. To help decision makers to limit the impact of human activities (e.g., development,
       forestry, recreation) to fish habitat and ecological processes that maintain these habitats.
   2. To use an adaptive management approach to ensure that existing restoration projects are
       functioning as intended to the extent possible.
   3. To promote the restoration of the ecological processes that creates and maintain fish
       habitat over the long term to the extent possible.
   4. To increase the amount, type, and distribution of fish habitat needed to support healthy
       and robust native salmonid population levels.
   5. To ensure that restoration projects consider and mitigate the potential impacts to other
       values in the watershed.

Prioritizing restoration activities assists resource management agencies, stewardship groups, and
funding agencies to allocate the scarce resources available for projects expected to have the most
significant effect within the watershed. One prioritization scheme1 recommended for the region
includes ranking watershed restoration projects using the following criteria, in order of priority:
    1. Reconnect isolated habitats
    2. Restore watershed processes (long term)
    3. Restore habitat (short term)

A final consideration in habitat restoration is the protection of other values, such as species-at-
risk, culturally sensitive areas, or important recreational areas. While restoration projects are
typically not governed the same way as other projects that may impact these values (e.g.,
development), such projects do have the potential to influence these values in similar ways (e.g.,
through changes to hydrology or the physical destruction of habitat). Projects that focus on
restoring watershed processes will typically benefit all species that had historically utilized a
reach, including native fish and other species at risk. However, habitat manipulation projects for
a single species or a group of species may alter the natural characteristics of a site and affect
other species utilizing the site. In addition, any type of project that causes some level of
disturbance or change on the landscape may affect important cultural or recreational sites or
other watershed values or features.

3. Fish Hatchery Production and Management
Millions of coho, chinook, chum, and steelhead fry and smolts are raised by the Chilliwack River
Hatchery (1981) where they are marked and released into the watershed each year. The hatchery
is currently mandated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to provide for a sustainable salmon

  Roni, P., Beechie, T.J., Bilby, R.E., Leonetti, F.E., Pollock, M.M., Pess, G.R., 2002. A review of stream restoration
techniques and a hierarchical strategy for prioritizing restoration in Pacific Northwest watersheds. North American
Journal of Fisheries Management 22:1-20.

fishery, to conserve wild fish and habitat, and to work within the guidelines of the Wild Salmon
Policy. This current mandate differs from the mandate prior to 1996 which focused more on
producing salmon to yield economic benefits rather than sustaining fish populations and
conserving wild fish and their habitat.

Many of the juvenile salmon released by the hatchery do not survive to become adults. The few
adults that return to the Chilliwack River Watershed are either caught by sport anglers, harvested
for brood stock, allocated to First Nations (once brood stock requirements are met) after being
caught in the hatchery trap, or left to spawn within the Chilliwack River or tributaries close to the
hatchery. It is estimated that for every 2000-5000 hatchery coho smolts released, only 100
survive to reach adulthood, and of these, only 5 return to spawn successfully.1

Watershed Concerns from Hatchery Production
Despite the fact that relatively few of the juvenile fish released from the hatchery return to the
watershed as adults, the release of large numbers of hatchery fish has led to several biological
concerns associated with the hatchery production of salmon in the Chilliwack River Watershed:
    Competition between wild and hatchery fish for food and territory
    Inter-specific competition for space and food and prey-predator relationships
    High levels of hatchery production and high survival rates for certain species (e.g.,
       chinook and coho) can contribute to harvest rates that are too high for wild fish to sustain
    Hatchery operations could potentially introduce diseases, contaminants, and effluent into
       the watershed
    Interbreeding of hatchery and wild fish could potentially alter the genetics of wild
       populations and could change overall stock characteristics over time
    The introduction of salmon species from other watersheds to the Chilliwack River
       Watershed (e.g., Upper Fraser red chinook, Harrison fall white chinook) can potentially
       harm indigenous salmon and other fish and wildlife populations
    Large numbers of top aquatic predators such as salmon in the watershed may negatively
       affect other species in the watershed (e.g., amphibians, other fish species, etc.).

In addition to the biological issues surrounding hatchery fish production, the abundance of fish
generated by hatchery programs draws large numbers of anglers to the Chilliwack River each
year. The large numbers of anglers, in turn, contribute to several social and ecological concerns:
     Overcrowding at popular fishing spots
     Damage to the ecological integrity of the watershed from high concentrations of anglers
        at specific locations (e.g., through soil compaction, erosion, littering, disposal of human
        wastes, disturbance of wildlife populations, etc.)
     Increased pressure on existing infrastructure such as roads, parking, and camping
     Increased bycatch or foul hooking of non-targeted fish populations
     Conflict amongst anglers and between anglers and other user groups (e.g., kayakers and
        campers) or residents.

 Pestal, G. 2005. Understanding coho production at the Chilliwack River Hatchery. Solv Consulting Ltd.,
Vancouver, BC.

Vision and Goals
Vision: Wild salmon stocks within the Chilliwack River Watershed are sustained at healthy
levels over the long term, sport angling on the river is a positive experience for all, and the
integrity of the watershed and human infrastructure is maintained for years to come.

   1. To prevent any potential negative biological impacts of hatchery production on wild
       salmon stocks and other species within the watershed.
   2. To better understand the impacts of hatchery production/management on (a) the angling
       experience and numbers, (b) the watershed health, and (c) other residents, users, and
       stakeholders within the watershed.
   3. To better understand and determine the carrying capacity of the watershed for fish
       populations and for angling activities along the river.
   4. To balance the need to produce hatchery fish for the purposes of satisfying angler
       demand and maintaining salmon population levels with the need of minimizing negative
       impacts to the watershed and other users/residents from large numbers of anglers
       attracted by high numbers of hatchery fish.
   5. To ensure that annual hatchery production targets and management practices are
       generated through a collaborative process between fisheries management staff, First
       Nations, and all community stakeholders.

Adjusting hatchery production targets to accommodate environmental and social demands needs
to be done with the recognition of the different costs and benefits associated with changing
production levels (see figure below). It is important that managers and stakeholders continue to
find ways to minimize negative impacts of hatchery management on wild salmon and habitat. A
new Risk Assessment Tool for hatchery coho production in the Chilliwack River Watershed is
under development. This tool is designed to analyze and assess detailed hatchery operations
process in the context of Wild Salmon Policy objectives.

                 Potential impacts associated with changing the hatchery production of
                 coho at the Chilliwack Hatchery (from Pestal, 2005)1

More dialogue and analysis is needed regarding hatchery production levels and operational
practices, and fisheries management in general, in the Chilliwack River Watershed. The new
Risk Assessment Tool may provide a good starting point for further discussion and analysis.

4. Invasive Species
Invasive species are considered to be the second greatest threat to biodiversity in British
Columbia, next only to habitat loss. Although sometimes called “exotic”, “alien”, or
“introduced” species, in this report we specifically refer to any species of plant, mammal,
amphibian, fish, insect, disease, etc., that has been intentionally or accidentally introduced to an
area, and demonstrates some competitive advantage over the native species. The resultant
population expansion of the invasive species often results in the displacement of local species
and in an ecological imbalance. Once established, the effects of invasive species are often
irreversible, and attempts at eradication or control can be very difficult and costly; therefore,
prevention and early detection with rapid response are often the keys to invasive species

Although anthropogenic activities are mostly responsible for the original introduction of invasive
species into an area, the subsequent spread of the species into the surrounding landscape are
largely due to rapid reproductive and dispersal abilities of the species. These dispersal abilities
often utilize various wind, water, and animal vectors, which often function at the watershed
level. Similarly, extreme habitat conditions, such as those often found along mountain ridges
that define individual watershed boundaries, can provide natural barriers to the spread of certain
invasive species. Consequently, dispersal of invasive species is more likely to occur
longitudinally within a watershed than laterally across watersheds. As a result, management of
invasive species is best performed at a strategic watershed-scale rather than site-by-site
management or management by political boundaries. This emphasizes the importance of
addressing invasive species as part of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy.

The following table provides a cursory inventory of some of the invasive species identified
within the Chilliwack River Watershed.

Invasive species in the Chilliwack River Watershed
 Terrestrial Plants                                       Aquatic Plants
      Butterfly-bush (Buddleja davidii)                      Bladder campion (Silene cucubalus)
      Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)                       Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum
      Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)                            spicatum)
      Burdock species (Arctium spp)                          Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea)
      Clover (Trifolium repens)                              Small-fruited bulrush (Scirpus microcarpus)
      Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)                       Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorusis)
      Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
      English Ivy (Hedera helix)                         Fish

 Pestal, G. 2005. Understanding coho production at the Chilliwack River Hatchery. Solv Consulting Ltd.,
Vancouver, BC.

       European mountain-ash (Sorbus acuparia)               Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
       Giant hogweed (Heracleum                              Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
        mantegazzianum)                                       Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)
       Himalayan and Evergreen blackberry                    Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
        (Rubus discolor, R. laciniatus)
       Holly (Ilex aquifolium)                        Birds and Mammals
       Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum                        European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
        cuspidatum)                                         Eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
       Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
       Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)             Amphibians
       Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)            Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
       Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)                  Green frog (Rana clamitans)
       Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
       St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)         Insects
       Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. dioica)         Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus
       Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobeae)                       ponderosae)
       Wild Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)                Douglas-Fir Beetle (D. pseudotsugae)
                                                            Spruce Beetle (D. rufipennis)

Watershed Impacts
Some of the impacts associated with the introduction and subsequent spread of invasive species
within the Chilliwack River Watershed include:
    Reduced biodiversity of native flora and fauna, including species-at-risk (through
        competition for space and or resources, direct predation on native species, hybridization,
        introduction of diseases or parasites, etc.)
    Reduced stability or balance within biological communities and habitats (e.g., pine beetle
        infestations resulting in increased forest fire potential or hydrological changes)
    Potential losses of culturally-significant species or habitats
    Economic impacts due to losses of native species or crops (e.g., pests or diseases
        affecting forestry or agricultural products)
    Economic losses due to invasive species removal programs
    Reduced aesthetic quality and recreational opportunities
    Potential human health concerns (e.g., giant hogweed, West Nile Virus).

Vision and Goals
Vision: The Chilliwack River Watershed retains high biodiversity and ecological values, and
both the community and responsible agencies maintain a diligent invasive species strategy
involving prevention, early detection, and rapid response.

   1. To limit the establishment and spread of invasive species to levels that do not threaten
       ecological systems or social/cultural values within the watershed.
   2. To eliminate unnecessary disturbance that provides an opportunity for invasive species to
       become established.
   3. To increase the awareness amongst all residents and users of the Chilliwack River
       Watershed about the threat of invasive species, how to identify them, how to avoid the

         spread or introduction of these species, and how to report or remove them from the
      4. To ensure the coordination of invasive species management between members of the
         community and all responsible government agencies to prevent the introduction of
         additional invasive species and to quickly respond to new outbreaks as they emerge.

The rural nature of the Chilliwack River Watershed means that it faces slightly different threats
from invasive species compared to more urbanized regions of the lower mainland. The level of
development in the watershed is currently quite low and is expected to remain fairly low in the
future. Therefore, species typically associated with urban type disturbances are probably less of a
concern than species that affect large expanses of forested areas or aquatic environments (e.g.,
bark beetles, milfoil). Particular diligence is required for invasive species that may become
larger issues in the future, such as newly introduced species or species that are able to exploit any
landuse changes that occur in the watershed. Climate change can also greatly alter the
susceptibility of the watershed’s terrestrial or aquatic habitats for invasive species introduction
and spread.

5.2 Settlement and Growth
5. Stó:lō Cultural Heritage Resource Management
The Stó:lō (‘People of the River’) have lived in and have called home the Lower Fraser River
Watershed for thousands of years. The Stó:lō, as a ‘tribe of tribes,’ are represented by numerous
tribal groups, most of whom are associated with a tributary watershed connected to the greater
cultural region. Sto:lo heritage is a part of the landscape of this region in many ways. Taking
care of Sto:lo heritage – including ancestral relations to land and resources – is governed by the
halq’eméylem statement: “S’olh Téméxw te ikw’elò. Xólhmet te mekw’stám ít kwelát.”
Translated, this statement explains: “This is our land. We have to take care of everything that
belongs to us.”1

The introduction to the Sto:lo Heritage Policy Manual (2003) provides a synopsis of Sto:lo
history and relations between the land and people in S’olh Téméxw:

           Our heritage stems from our occupation and use of S’olh Téméxw since the
           beginning of time, as the first inhabitants of this land. Our world, unlike that of
           many of our present-day neighbours, includes inseparable spiritual and
           material realms… We view our place and actions in the world as the centre of a
           continuum extending seven generations past and seven generations forward.
           We live today in the world of both our ancestors and relatives yet to come. Our
           heritage – including our land, resources, people and ancestors – is ultimately
           all that we are. Our heritage must be treated with respect.

Significant and wide ranging heritage resources are located within the Chilliwack River Valley –
ancestral home of the Ts’elxweyeqw (‘Ch-ihl-kway-uhk’) Tribe, after whom the river and valley
    Stó:lō Nation, 2003. Stó:lō Heritage Policy Manual. Stó:lō Nation Archives, Chilliwack, BC.

were named. Archaeological evidence of Ts’elxweyeqw occupation of their watershed extends
back in time at least 4,000 years, and likely much longer. While many important cultural
heritage sites, features, and places of use are currently known, a comprehensive inventory of
heritage resources in the area is far from complete.

Watershed Concerns/ Causes
Prior archaeological inventory work within Sto:lo traditional territory has been driven by a
demonstrated lack of recognition of and respect for Sto:lo-Ts’elxweyeqw cultural heritage
resources in the Chilliwack River Watershed, as elsewhere. In some cases, cultural heritage
sites have been damaged as a factor of not being recognized. Sacred bathing sites at a number of
locations in the valley have been impacted by alteration of the landscape and/or increasing
recreational uses around them, impacting on Sto:lo religious practices. Archaeological sites have
been disturbed or destroyed by development associated with the wide range of user activities. In
the past ten years alone, a number of sites including a pithouse settlement and burial mound
complex have been respectively disturbed and destroyed within the valley – despite efforts to
increase the profile of cultural heritage resource management.

As with other watershed values, Sto:lo cultural heritage resources, including the land, resources,
people and ancestors, needs to be respected by all stakeholders and watershed users. Some of the
concerns that need to be incorporated into decision-making within the Chilliwack River
Watershed include:

      The lack of understanding and awareness of Sto:lo cultural heritage and its importance to
       the Sto:lo peoples.
      The fact that when heritage sites are destroyed they cannot be replaced or recovered.
      An understanding of the interconnectedness between the culture and the landscape. For
       example, impacts to the landscape are prone to affecting integral aspects of Sto:lo
       lifeways that are dependent upon access to the land and resources -- causing cultural
       stress, loss of cultural knowledge, and loss of the places necessary for a wide range of
       cultural practices.
      An awareness of impacts, or potential impacts, from land-use decisions on heritage sites
       as a result of land alteration, habitat alteration, pollution (air, noise, water), population
       pressure and infringements on privacy. For example:
                   Forestry activities can affect heritage sites (e.g., removal of vegetation
                      changes cultural landscapes)
                   Urban and rural development can affect heritage sites (e.g., use of water, re-
                      routing, pollution, reduction in wildlife habitat, loss of hunting, fishing,
                      gathering places)
                   Recreational activities can affect heritage sites (e.g., trampling, erosion).

Vision and Goals
Vision: All individuals with ties to the Chilliwack River Watershed respect First Nations’
concerns pertaining to heritage, the land, and its treatment. First Nations’ heritage is shared with
everyone and a better understanding between peoples promotes a better and healthier way of life
for all living within S’olh Téméxw.

   1. To protect, preserve, and manage Sto:lo heritage – in all its forms – in a manner
       consistent with Sto:lo values, beliefs, and traditions.
   2. To encourage cooperation amongst organizations – both Sto:lo and non-Sto:lo – in the
       protection, preservation and management of Sto:lo heritage.
   3. To promote healthy relationships between the contemporary Sto:lo community and Sto:lo
       ancestors – past, present, and future.
   4. To help maintain the integrity of Sto:lo history and heritage through the respectful
       treatment of Sto:lo knowledge, heritage objects, and sites.
   5. To advance knowledge and understanding of Sto:lo heritage.
   6. To help maintain continuity in Sto:lo heritage and the practice of cultural traditions in
       forms both old and new.1

There are a number of ways in which greater awareness and respect of Sto:lo cultural heritage
resources can be promoted in the watershed, including:
    1. Assertion of policies
    2. Public (community) education/awareness
    3. Inventory and research programs
    4. Celebrate cultural diversity/respect
    5. Promote consultation processes.

6. Commercial, Institutional, and Residential Development
The Chilliwack River Watershed lies within the traditional territory of the Sto:lo and the
Nlaka’pamux First Nations and is the homeland of the Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribe. Currently, the
only First Nation Reserve located within the Chilliwack River Watershed is that of the
Soowahlie First Nation. This Reserve, located at the junction of Sweltzer Creek and the
Chilliwack River, is approximately 3.8 square kilometers in size, and has approximately 250
band members living on site currently.2

Non-aboriginal use of the Chilliwack Valley began in the late 1800s, but permanent settlement
occurred primarily following World War II. While the Soowahlie First Nation controls
development on their reserve lands, development in the other portions of the Chilliwack River
Watershed is controlled by local government. The Ryder Creek uplands and Ryder Lake area is
within the boundaries of the City of Chilliwack; other areas of the watershed are within the
boundaries of Electoral Area “E” under the jurisdiction of the Fraser Valley Regional District.
Current residential development exists sporadically along the Chilliwack River, and in a number
of settlement clusters, including Baker Trails, Ryder Lake, Edwards Road area, Bell Acres,
Slesse Park, and Post Creek. Additional development also occurs in Cultus Lake, Lindell Beach,
and within the Columbia Valley, but these settlements are outside of the current planning
boundaries of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy.

    Stó:lō Nation, 2003. Stó:lō Heritage Policy Manual. Stó:lō Nation Archives, Chilliwack, BC.
    Francis Mussell, Soowahlie First Nation. Pers. comm.

The number of residents within the Chilliwack River Watershed is estimated to be approximately
2,000 individuals. Apart from the odd vacant lot or infill opportunity, the valley is considered to
be essentially fully developed due to a number of development constraints associated with the
local topography, geotechnical hazards (including flooding and debris slides), sensitivity of
shallow ground water aquifers, limited road access, servicing limitations (septic and water
supply), forest fire hazard, existing tenures, zoning, and land claims, and FVRD policies that do
not generally support isolated developments.

Historically, institutional development within the Chilliwack River Watershed primarily
consisted of numerous minimum security correctional facilities (Tamihi Creek, Mount Thurston,
Centre Creek, Pierce Creek, and Ford Mountain) as well as the military base and training
facilities of CFB Chilliwack. Ford Mountain Centre is the only correctional centre still in
operation within the watershed. CFB Chilliwack closed in 1998. Some of the remaining
commercial and institutional developments within the watershed include a restaurant,
convenience stores, an automotive repair shop, a private campground, a scrap yard, a nursery, a
community hall, a recreational shooting range, a fire hall, and gravel mines and quarries.

Because of what the Chilliwack River Watershed offers in terms of recreation, cultural, and
environmental values, there is strong interest in select resort development to occur within the
watershed. Conversion of prior correctional facilities (Mount Thurston and Centre Creek) by the
Ch-ihl-kway-uhk First Nation for potential tourism, conference centre, and Aboriginal health and
wellness centre, and potential resort development along the Chipmunk Ridge for housing and ski
development are examples.

Watershed Impacts/Concerns
As a result of questionnaires received and comments made by the public during the CRWS
process, the community expressed its desire for new development to be kept to a minimum,
especially commercial development, and to be situated in/around areas already developed.
Specific concerns were expressed about the potential impacts of commercial and residential
development on:
    The environment (water quality and habitat loss),
    Visual quality/aesthetic appeal (e.g., development and roads built too close to the river,
       sprawl associated with Peach Road & Promontory),
    Wildlife (e.g., from dogs, encroachment),
    Potential impacts of resort development in the watershed,
    Traffic congestion,
    Negative impacts of overdevelopment on future tourism, and
    The sale or lease of Crown land to private interests without input from, or consideration
       of, current residents and users.

Vision and Goals
Vision: Residential, commercial, and institutional development is planned so as to preserve the
Chilliwack River Watershed’s environmental, recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value for
future generations.


   1. To ensure future development does not negatively impact the environmental health, the
      recreational opportunities, the Traditional value, and the visual quality within the
   2. To ensure future development is situated in/around areas already developed.
   3. To ensure future development occurs with appropriate input from, or consideration of,
      First Nations, residents, and users.

The development potential within the Chilliwack River Watershed will inevitably result in
various opportunities, ideas, and proposals that will require consideration by local authorities.
The potential impact of these developments will vary depending on a number of factors,
     type of development
     proposed design
     proposed location
     scale of development
     prior land use
     adjacent land use
     required services/amenities, etc.

These factors and others arising will need to be considered to determine the potential
environmental, recreational, and aesthetic impacts of a proposed development. Assessing these
factors will require collaborative efforts involving multiple government agencies, multiple levels
of government, and community input.

Community concerns in the Chilliwack River Watershed related to commercial and residential
development impacts on environmental quality, aesthetic appeal, wildlife, and recreational
opportunities, both for current residents and users, as well as for future generations and tourism
appeal of the watershed. Many of the strategies for addressing these concerns have already been
prepared, in the Best Management Practices produced by the Ministry of Environment, and the
recommended actions described in the FVRD Regional Growth Strategy. Empowering the
FVRD with a sufficient mandate and suitable tools to ensure adoption of these strategies requires
strong community support and input. Recently prepared OCPs in other Electoral Areas contain
approaches for preserving environmental conditions, including cluster development, impervious
surface limitations, environmentally sensitive area identification, protection of visual quality, etc.
Updating the Electoral Area “E” Official Settlement Plan will potentially help address current
concerns about possible impacts of commercial and residential development in the Chilliwack
River Watershed.

7. River Hazards (flooding, etc.)
Unfortunately, many of the properties within Electoral Area “E” and on the Soowahlie Indian
Reserve, and the only access route into the valley – Chilliwack Lake Road – are vulnerable to
river hazards such as flooding, debris flows, steep slope hazards, and erosion. This risk was
evidenced most recently during a major flood in November 2006, which required evacuation of
approximately 250 people and caused several million dollars in damage to infrastructure in the

valley. Settlements and infrastructure within the 200-year floodplain and 100-year erosion
setback line are considered to be at greatest risk from river hazards (e.g., Wilson Road, Slesse
Park, Osborne Road, Bell Acres, Soowahlie Indian Reserve).

Watershed Concerns
Physical process hazards are natural, even essential, processes which change, create, improve,
degrade and destroy habitat. Yet, the effects on human settlements, infrastructure and social
values are less ambiguous and often severely negative. In order to minimize these impacts,
various hazard mitigation works have been undertaken in the watershed (e.g., dykes, setback
dykes, rip rap, groynes) and newer incremental development has been approved in safe locations
with appropriate hazard safety measures in place. However, many properties and portions of
Chilliwack Lake Road remain at risk from river hazards and future works will be required to
better protect existing properties and infrastructure.

Unfortunately, mitigation works themselves can impact the watershed, often at the expense of
natural processes and fish and wildlife habitat. For example: 1
     Setback dykes can alienate wetlands and side channels in certain areas by infilling,
        altering drainage patterns and cutting off fish access
     River bank dykes can affect wetland and side channel habitats, mainly by cutting off
        flows from the main river and by eliminating fish access
     Debris or gravel removal can disturb spawning grounds, introduce fine sediment into the
        water column, and influence erosion and hydraulic processes upstream and downstream
        of the removal site
     Rip rap and dikes channelize watercourses, harden banks, and may take the place of
        riparian vegetation. This reduces recruitment of large woody debris, increases water
        temperature, decreases food sources, eliminates pool habitats, etc., thereby reducing fish
        and wildlife habitat.

Therefore, river hazards are a concern from two perspectives: because the hazards themselves
impact important social, economic, and natural values, and because hazard mitigation works also
have significant impacts on other important watershed values.

Vision and Goals
Vision: Threats to existing communities and infrastructure from river hazards are managed to
established and acceptable thresholds through a comprehensive, locally developed and
coordinated approach that avoids or minimizes negative impacts to other watershed values.

   1. To develop a better understanding of the level or risk posed to existing development and
       infrastructure and factors contributing to hazard risk.
   2. To develop a better understanding of important fish and wildlife habitat along the river
       and the potential impacts (positive and negative) of various hazard management
       strategies on ecological processes.

 Hay & Company Consultants Inc. (HAYCO), 1992. Chilliwack River Hazard Management Study. For: Fraser
Valley Regional District. Interim Report. June 1992.

      3. To implement comprehensive, cost-effective hazard mitigation works or strategies that
         will best reduce the level of risk to acceptable levels (e.g., 1 in 200 year flood event)
         while minimizing negative/promoting positive impacts to fish habitat.
      4. To encourage better coordination and cooperation between agencies to develop and fund
         hazard management strategies that reduce risk levels to acceptable thresholds while
         mitigating impacts to fish and wildlife habitat.

Numerous suggestions to increase the effectiveness of protection from river hazards have been
made by the general public, agencies, and stakeholders, including:
    Increased dyking in certain areas or continuous dyking
    Improvements to existing flood mitigation works
    Better monitoring of existing works
    More rip rap/groynes to protect roads and property
    Development of an effective system of ditches, culverts and catch basins
    Creation of a local service area for river work
    Gravel removal
    Assistance from Federal and provincial governments
    Development of a warning system in case of a major slide or flood

This list is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. While the suggestions listed above likely have
some merit, further research of all the options, and analysis of each option and its potential
effectiveness and impacts, was not undertaken during this process. Planning for comprehensive
hazard mitigation is a highly technical issue and developing concrete recommendations for
specific strategies was beyond the scope of this analysis. Rather, it was agreed that the most
valuable role for the CRWS with this particular issue would be to facilitate improved planning
and management of river hazards for the entire watershed over the long term.

5.3 Resource Extraction
8. Mining
Mining in the Chilliwack River Watershed
Mining has occurred for over 100 years in the Chilliwack River Watershed with the Red
Mountain Mine operating from 1899 to1942. Gold ore from this mine was packed out by horse
from the mine site south of Slesse Creek to a base camp and homestead located in the current
Bell Acres area. Minerals and other products mined from the Chilliwack River Watershed over
the years have included gold, ore, limestone, dimension stone, copper, silver, lead, zinc, and
aggregate (sand and gravel).

As of January 2007, there were 36 mineral tenures, with 14 different mineral tenure holders,
staked within the Chilliwack River Watershed.1 These mineral tenures, which do not include
sand and gravel quarries, cover 100.7 square kilometers, or approximately 15% of the watershed
area north of the Canada-US border. Construction and industrial products such as sand and

    Mineral Titles Online Website. Available (Jan 24, 2007).

gravel aggregates comprise the primary products extracted from the watershed. Although in-
stream gravel removal does occur within the watershed, this issue is not dealt with in this section.

Watershed Concerns
Community concerns related to mining focus largely on potential impacts of mining on water
quality, both out of concerns for drinking water protection and environmental impacts (e.g.,
increased suspended sediment, acid rock drainage, potential for contamination from fuel
products, potential for ground water contamination, overflow from tailing ponds, etc.). In
addition to the concerns raised by the community, there have also been concerns raised by the
CRWS project team regarding the potential impact of mining activities on karst formations in the
vicinity of Chipmunk Caves (near the confluence of the Chilliwack River with Foley
Creek/Chipmunk Creek). Karst formations, particularly caves, have a unique ecosystem, with
flora and fauna that have adapted to a particular light, temperature, and humidity range
associated with the caves. Quarrying activities occurring in proximity to these habitats can
endanger these unique conditions, and hence the biota dependent on these conditions.

Other concerns relate to:
    Habitat disturbance (removing existing ground cover, soil exposure, potential alterations
       to surface or subsurface ecosystems, introduction and spread of invasive species, etc.)
    Hydrological impacts (including sediment deposition, disturbances to groundwater
       recharge rates, lowering groundwater table, etc.)
    Visual impacts (creation of an unnatural viewscape)
    Noise/vibrations and dust (from equipment operations, loading and transportation,
       blasting, etc.)
    Increased access to back-country areas
    Water quality impacts (acid leaching, turbidity, temperature, nutrient levels, etc)

Vision and Goals
Vision: Mining resources within the Chilliwack River Watershed are exploited in a sustainable
manner that is respectful of other watershed users, the local community, and the environment.

   1. To minimize or avoid environmental impacts associated with mining activities,
       particularly in sensitive habitats or in locations of drinking water intakes.
   2. To have adequate community consultation be conducted prior to land-use decisions
       within the watershed, including the permitting of mining operations.
   3. To have sufficient baseline data be collected for the watershed to identify any issues of
       concern, locations of concern, cumulative impacts, and trends.

9. Forestry and Forest Management
Logging in the Chilliwack River Watershed
In addition to mining, the Chilliwack River Watershed owes much of its recent development
history to the forestry industry, which began in the early 1900s. In the 1920s, railroad logging
operations became very efficient at clearing the easily-accessible timber from the valley bottom.
The watershed’s rich forest fire history also helped shape both the logging industry and the

landscape of the watershed. A rail accident in 1938, which resulted in a massive fire that
destroyed over 30,000 hectares of productive forest from Liumchen Creek to Chilliwack Lake,
contributed to changing forestry operations in the region from railroad logging to truck logging
in the 1930s.1 This shift, in concert with most easily-accessible timber in the valley bottom
either being burned or previously harvested, led to logging up into the major tributaries, moving
higher up the slopes and further back into the watershed, a trend that continues to currently.

Forestry comprises the dominant land use within the Chilliwack River Watershed. The portion
of the watershed that is north of the Canada-US border is mostly under Provincial jurisdiction,
and comprises the Chilliwack Landscape Unit, located within the Chilliwack Supply Block of the
Fraser Timber Supply Area (TSA). Of the approximately 65,000 hectares within the Chilliwack
Landscape Unit, 87% is within either the Crown forested land base or the Timber Harvesting
Land Base, with the primary tenure holders being:2
     Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Forestry Limited Partnership
     BC Timber Sales
     Probyn Logging
     Northwest Hardwoods/Weyerhaeuser
     Scott Paper
     Tamihi Logging
     Walter Bell

The remaining 13% of the land base is either non-Crown land (e.g., private property), non-
forested (e.g., alpine, rocks, etc), or non-productive forests. Other environmental or geographic
constraints further reducing the amount of harvestable timber within the Chilliwack River
Watershed include Parks and Protected Areas, Old Growth Management Areas, and Special
Management Zones such as Spotted Owl Management Areas . The headwaters of the Chilliwack
River, as well as a number of its tributaries, are located south of the Canada-US border, within
the North Cascades National Park, the Mount Baker Wilderness Area, or the Mount Baker-
Snoqualmie National Forest. As a result, forestry activities are largely prohibited in much of the
headwaters of the Chilliwack River Watershed.

Watershed Concerns
Forestry-related issues and concerns were amongst the most numerous concerns identified during
public outreach activities conducted early on the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy. These
concerns, as well as those issues identified by project participants throughout the process, were
related to the real, perceived, or potential impacts of logging and forest management on:
     Wildlife and habitat (e.g., salmon/riparian habitat, deer and goat winter range, spotted
        owl habitat, biodiversity)
     Water quality (siltation, water clarity)
     Drinking water protection
     Stream hydrology/water quantity (erosion, runoff, peak volumes and frequency)

  Fraser Valley Regional District, 1983. Official Settlement Plan Electoral Area “E”. (Fraser Valley Regional
District Consolidated OSP Bylaw No. 400 Electoral Area “E”).
  George, G., Stad, L., Gill, H., 2005. Sustainable Resource Management Plan: Biodiversity Chapter for Chilliwack
Landscape Unit. May 16, 2005.

      Visual quality/aesthetic appeal of the watershed for locals and potential tourists
      Slope stability
      Roads/deactivation/access
      Invasive species (including bark beetles) introduction and spread
      Flood, landslide, and erosion potential
      Cultural/archaeological impacts.

Vision and Goals
Vision: Forest harvesting within the Chilliwack River Watershed occurs in a sustainable manner
that respects the values of all stakeholders and does negatively affect important and vulnerable
watershed features and functions.

   1. To increase the level of awareness and understanding of forestry and forestry-related
       issues within the Chilliwack River Watershed amongst the local community, First
       Nations, agencies, users, and other stakeholders.
   2. To have abundant and easily-accessible opportunities for meaningful First Nations,
       public, and stakeholder input into forestry management that results in decision-making
       that fully takes into account the abundant and diversity of values within the Chilliwack
       River Watershed.
   3. To adequately protect or mitigate forestry-related impacts on important and vulnerable
       watershed features and functions.
   4. To acquire and disseminate improved information about localized and watershed-scale
       impacts of forestry and forest management on the Chilliwack River Watershed.

As local economies slowly shift away from resource dependency, as recreational use of the
valley increases, and as significant landscape-level events such as flooding and landslides
continue to threaten downstream property and habitat, the concerns about forestry-related
impacts within the watershed continue to increase, necessitating the need for discussions and
watershed strategies such as CRWS.

Of note are the significant interconnections between forestry and salmon, representing the need
for an ecosystem approach to watershed management and the importance of protecting each
component of the natural environment. Not only do forests provide critical habitat, food, and
shelter that allow pacific salmon to flourish, but salmon provide critical nutrients to the forests
that allow our trees to grow healthy and tall. If one component of this cycle is removed or
depleted, the entire process will become imbalanced and threatened. Therefore, protecting
ecosystem function is in the best interest of all watershed users, including forest companies, to
ensure the long-term health of the Chilliwack River Watershed.

10. Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
Overview of IPPs
Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are energy suppliers that are ‘independent’ from
government ownership or major public funding and sell their power to the grid rather than utilize

the energy for self-consumption. Run-of-river IPP projects are those that utilize a natural stream
or watercourse. The basic components for a run-of-river project are shown in the figure below.
An in-stream weir is constructed in the uplands to back-up a relatively small amount of water (to
a maximum of 24-hours of stream flow to be considered ‘Green Energy’ by BC Hydro ). A
pipeline (known as a ‘penstock’), which can be buried or laid along the surface, then diverts up
to 90% of stream flow volume over several kilometers to a lower elevation turbine and generator
that captures the energy of the moving water. Some stream flow is still required for the overall
health of the stream between the intake and powerhouse to ensure a suitable environmental for
fish, fish habitat, and riparian buffer. After passing through the powerhouse, the water is
returned to the original stream via a direct channel (a ‘tailrace’). Powerlines (not depicted in the
diagram) then distribute energy from the powerhouse to consumers.

Schematic overview of a ‘green’ run-of-river IPP project (courtesy David Kiess, IPP Association of BC).

IPPs in the Chilliwack River Watershed
There has been growing interest in generating power using run-of-river projects in the
Chilliwack River Watershed over the past decade. This trend has been fueled by proximity to
markets (e.g., Greater Vancouver), suitable local topography and hydrology, an increased interest
in low-impact energy alternatives, a provincial direction towards annual reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions, and an increased demand for power. The updated 2007 BC Energy
Plan is committed to ensure the province achieves energy self-sufficiency by 2016 and maintains
90% clean or renewable electricity generation. BC Hydro’s 2006 Integrated Electricity Plan
predicted that electricity requirements may grow by 25% to 45% over the next 20 years, even
after accounting for the management of 50% of the projected demand growth through
conservation efforts.

Within the Chilliwack River Watershed, a total of 12 water license applications have been
submitted to the Province for waterpower purposes as of June, 2007 (see table below). Ten of
the waterpower projects have also submitted applications to the Province for land tenure. All of

these remain “Under Review” at the current time by the BC Integrated Land Management
Bureau (ILMB), a process that often takes a number of years to conclude. An additional
proposal, for Post Creek, remains incomplete as it requires an additional park use permit since it
falls within the boundaries of Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park. BC Hydro has awarded
conditional contracts (pending ILMB approval) to two of these IPP projects: one on Pierce Creek
(for 0.77 MW) and one on Tamihi Creek (for 9.9 MW).

Proposed IPP projects within the Chilliwack River Watershed (as of June, 2007).
                            Expected Power        Water License Application         Land Tenure Application
                                Capacity 1           Year             Status          Year        Status
 Tamihi Creek (upper)             7.5 MW             2005          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
 Tamihi Creek (lower)             9.9 MW             1992          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
      Pierce Creek               0.77 MW             2002          Active Appl.       2004     Under Review
  Slesse Creek (upper)           10.8 MW             2005          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
   Nesakwatch Creek               3.0 MW             2004          Active Appl.       2004     Under Review
 Centre Creek (upper)            3.45 MW             1995          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
 Centre Creek (lower)             3.3 MW             2002          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
     Paleface Creek              10.0 MW             1998          Active Appl.      Incomplete application
       Post Creek                1.02 MW             2001          Active Appl.     Additional permits req’d
     Airplane Creek               4.9 MW             1994          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
    Chipmunk Creek                4.9 MW             1993          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review
    Chipmunk Creek                1.2 MW             2005          Active Appl.       2006     Under Review

Watershed Concerns
While IPPs are considered ‘green’ by some, particularly compared to the alternatives of creating
large dams or coal plants, there are a number of legitimate watershed concerns associated with
IPP development, including:
     recreational, hydrological, ecological, visual, cultural, and cumulative impacts
     Impacts to aquatic organisms and habitat (changes to stream temperature, destruction of
        riparian vegetation, diversion of a significant portion of stream flow, physical barriers to
        movement of aquatic or semi-aquatic organisms, reduced downstream recruitment of
        large woody debris and gravel, hydrological changes on spawning and migration
        behaviour, water quality impacts, etc)
     Impacts to terrestrial wildlife and habitat (vegetation removal/destruction, construction
        and machinery impacts, new road impacts, garbage and pollution, spread of invasive
        species, etc.)
     Upslope stability and integrity (potential erosion and landslide concerns associated with
        road development and transmission line right-of-ways, back-country access from new
        roads and right-of-ways)
     Visual quality impacts on residences, recreationists, tourists, and other watershed users
        (transmission lines and poles, power stations, penstocks, increased road networks, etc.)
     First Nation Traditional Use (locations of headponds, powerhouses, roads, etc. could
        impact significant cultural sites and traditional uses of such sites)

    Source: IPP Watch website, updated July 2007,; Aug 9, 2007.

       Cumulative impacts (associated with increased allocation and use of Crown land and
        water, land changes, lack of coordinated planning and assessments, etc.)

Vision and Goals
Vision: The natural, cultural, and social value of the Chilliwack River Watershed is protected
for future generations from the potential impacts associated with large or numerous run-of-river
IPP projects within the watershed.

   1. To minimize or avoid potential watershed impacts from IPP projects in the Chilliwack
       River Watershed due to the sensitive and special nature of the watershed.
   2. To have a strategic, consultative, and meaningful approach for IPP development within
       the Chilliwack River Watershed be prepared to help address community concerns,
       cumulative impacts, and secondary impacts (service roads, transmission lines, etc.).
   3. To ensure community and stakeholders are made suitably knowledgeable and aware
       about local IPP projects, proposals, and impacts.
   4. To provide sites and viewsheds identified by the community as important or valued for
       environmental or social reasons a level of protection from IPP projects that may threaten
       these values.
   5. To have ongoing research and monitoring be conducted on operating IPPs within the
       watershed to ensure minimal environmental and hydrological impacts.

While no run-of-the-river projects currently operate in the Chilliwack River Watershed, the
number of water licenses obtained on creeks in the watershed is indicative of the interest and
potential for expansion of this industry. While a growing trend towards smaller and greener
power operations close to source markets may be desirable from a provincial perspective, the
potential for local and cumulative watershed impacts cannot be ignored.

5.4 Human Activities
11. Recreation
Recreation in the CRW
Due to its proximity to Vancouver and the natural experience that it offers, the Chilliwack River
Watershed supports among the highest volume of recreational use of any watershed in the
Province. Outdoor enthusiasts pursue a range of activities in the watershed, including angling,
kayaking, rafting, canoeing, power boating, swimming, tubing, camping, hiking, mountaineering,
rock climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, dirt
biking, ATVing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Approximately 1.5 million users or
more visited the Chilliwack River Watershed in 2005.1 This number is expected to increase
given the regional population growth and the growing demand for recreation opportunities and
experiences that are local and natural.

 Wilson, D. Fraser Valley Regional District. Pers. comm. Note that this number does not include the months of
October, November, and December in which a high number of fishermen visit the watershed.

Watershed Concerns from Recreation Activities
The high level of recreational use, combined with the broad diversity of recreational and other
land uses (e.g., development, forestry, etc.) that occur within the watershed, has resulted in
significant recreation-related issues affecting the watershed health and sustainability of the
Chilliwack River Watershed. During public outreach activities as part of CRWS, recreation-
related issues were rated as some of the most concerning issues to the community. Recreational
issues not only affect the natural values of the watershed; they have a significant impact on local
residents and other users of the watershed as well. These recreation-related concerns include:
     Damage, pollution, and disturbances caused by visitors who camp overnight in non-
        designated sites and non managed campsites to riparian areas and habitats (e.g., tree
        cutting, erosion, soil compaction, vegetation removal, dumping of garbage and waste), to
        nearby residents, and to cultural and archaeological sites located in and around recreation
        areas or along trails;
     Confrontations and conflicts between different recreation users (e.g., between bear
        hunters and other recreational users, residents, and wildlife in the Post Creek and
        Yukalalup area);
     The introduction and spread of invasive species within the watershed (both aquatic and
     Damage and disruption caused by land-based motorized vehicles (ATVs, dirt bikes,
        snowmobiles) to hiking trails, to wildlife, and to sensitive habitat (e.g., Cheam Ridge
        alpine habitat and wetland and riparian areas);
     Damage and disturbance caused by water-based motorized vehicles in Chilliwack Lake to
        the environment (fuel spillage, exhaust), to fish and wildlife (particularly species of
        concern such as sockeye salmon), and to non-motorized recreationists (e.g., canoeists,
        swimmers, anglers);
     The removal and/or over-consumption of certain resources or natural objects (e.g., rocks,
        plants), fish (e.g., wild coho salmon, steelhead) and wildlife species (e.g., species at risk);
     The threat to public safety and private property (e.g., interface fires) from fires lit by both
        residents and visitors in the valley, particularly during dry summer months in which fire
        bans have been implemented.

CRWS Vision and Goals
Vision: The Chilliwack River Watershed is as close to natural as possible with sustainable
populations of native wildlife, intact ecosystems, and clean land, air and water. All users and
residents of the watershed are respectful of each other and of the watershed.

   1. To prevent degradation, to encourage respectful behaviour, and to promote conservation
       of environmental, cultural, and archaeological resources by recreational users.
   2. To balance the demand for recreational opportunities with the other needs and watershed
       uses (e.g., economic opportunities, protecting natural environment, etc.).
   3. To minimize conflict between different recreationists as well as between recreation and
       non-recreation users.


Due to the complexity of this issue, finding solutions to recreation issues requires an uncommon
level of cooperation between agencies and a collaborative effort that involves all stakeholders
working together for a common goal – to restore and preserve the watershed health of the
Chilliwack River Watershed. CRWS was only able to provide a brief overview of the many
issues and concerns expressed by stakeholders about recreation-related concerns in the watershed
– more discussions and analyses are needed on this subject.

12. Sport Angling Behaviour
In recent years, there has been increased concern about some angling behaviours and techniques
used on the Chilliwack River and the impact of these behaviours on the fishery, the environment,
and on other users of the watershed (e.g., other anglers). Some of these behaviours are illegal
(i.e., as defined in the sport fishing regulations), while others are considered ‘unethical’ by some,
but may not be explicitly illegal. These behaviours include:
      A growing number of anglers perceived as having a lack of respect for the fish or the
         watershed (e.g., fish are often handled very roughly prior to release);
      An increased prevalence in techniques such as flossing that result in higher incidences of
         snagging or foul hooked fish;1
      Illegally retaining of foul hooked fish;
      Fishing with prohibited gear, such as barbed hooks;
      Catching and retaining more than the daily limit or possession limit of salmon – this
         charge is common with people who ‘party fish’ (where one person catches fish for
         several licensed people and/or children who are at the river but are not actively fishing)
         or with people who catch their limit and then drop fish off at home before returning to the
      Fishing without an angling licence or failing to produce an angling licence;
      Failing to record adult Chinook salmon or Steelhead caught.

Illegal and unethical fishing behaviour is a concern throughout the Chilliwack-Vedder system.
The ‘flossing’ method of fishing is most evident in places, such as the lower Vedder River,
where the river bottom is uniform and the fish tend to collect in pools while waiting to ascend the
river to their chosen spawning area. However, the flossing method is also being employed in the
rapid, white water areas created around large boulders found in the upper Chilliwack River.

Watershed Concerns
The prevalence of anglers who fish illegally or who use techniques that some anglers consider
‘unethical’ is a watershed concern because these behaviours are believed to have a negative

  Snagging or foul hooking is defined by the BC Freshwater Fishing Synopsis (2006) as “hooking a fish in any other
part of its body than the mouth.” Attempting to snag fish of any species is prohibited. Any fish willfully or
accidentally snagged must be released immediately.
Flossing (and a similar method, bottom bouncing) is when a leader length of 6-20 feet is cast across the stream and
is allowed to ‘bounce’ downstream. If there are enough fish in the system, the line can easily get caught on a fish’s
mouth as it swims upstream operculating (i.e., opening and closing its mouth to obtain oxygen). When pulled
through the mouth, the line gets tangled in the mouth or teeth of the fish and the fish is dragged to shore. Although
the fish has not been enticed to bite (a bare hook is often all that is needed), the fish is often caught in the area of the
mouth. As a result, it is a very difficult snagging method to enforce (David Barnes, DFO, Pers. comm.).

impact on the fishery resource (e.g., they cause a conservation concern), on the angling
community, and on the environment in general. Some of the concerns or potential impacts that
were raised by stakeholders as part of the CRWS process associated with sport angling behaviour
in the Chilliwack River Watershed include:
     Negative impacts on fish that are handled roughly or foul-hooked (e.g., research has
        shown that angling duration, handling time, air exposure, and handling techniques can
        greatly influence the immediate mortality rate, the delayed mortality rate, and the
        reproductive success for fish caught and released);
     Increased incidences of catching or hooking non-targeted species such as Cultus Lake
        sockeye or steelhead due to the prevalent use of non-specific fishing techniques such as
     Difficulty in estimating/managing the actual fishing effort/levels because of the estimated
        high numbers of individuals who fish without a license, retain more than their possession
        limit, or fail to record all retained chinook or steelhead caught;
     Increased conflicts between anglers who floss and those that consider this to be
     Increased threats to wildlife and other watershed users from garbage and fishing gear
        broken off or left behind by anglers (e.g., increased accumulation of broken off fishing
        line in the stream channel resulting from the 6-20 foot leader length used in flossing,
        causing potential concerns for wildlife, kayakers, etc.);
     Loss of revenue that could be used towards improving fisheries management due to the
        increased prevalence of fishing without an angling licence.
     Reduced willingness by some ‘ethical’ fishermen to contribute to restoration or
        enhancement activities that are perceived as only benefiting ‘unethical’ fishermen.

Vision and Goals
Vision: The Chilliwack River Watershed provides enjoyable angling opportunities that continue
to be supported by strong and productive fish populations and healthy riparian and aquatic

   1. To have techniques and behaviours utilized by anglers on the Chilliwack-Vedder River
       result in minimal impacts on the fishery resource, especially stocks of concern.
   2. To have all anglers fishing on the Chilliwack River be respectful of private property, the
       environment, other anglers and users of the river, fishing regulations and authorities, and
       the fish (e.g., demonstrated by proper treatment and release of fish).
   3. To have new anglers fishing on the Chilliwack-Vedder River learn about fishing
       regulations and ethics from experienced, knowledgeable, and ethical anglers who model
       behaviours that promote conservation of the resource.
   4. To ensure angling on the Chilliwack-Vedder River is a pleasant experience for all

While the issue pertaining to illegal fishing is relatively clear and unambiguous, the issue about
‘ethical’ and ‘unethical’ fishing behaviours is more complex. It is an issue that has become very
contentious and divisive within the local community, pitting fishermen against each other

depending on their personal values, definitions, and beliefs about what the fishing experience
means to them and how it should be conducted. While the intent of CRWS is not to take sides
on this issue, resolving the watershed issues arising from this conflict is. With few exceptions,
most of the options and recommendations discussed through the CRWS process were well
supported by concerned anglers and representatives of regulatory agencies involved in the
multiple workshops held to discuss this issue. However, most options require additional analysis
and dialogue with appropriate agencies and stakeholders before they can be implemented. This
document intends to provide only a starting point for that analysis and dialogue.

13. Illegal Dumping
Illegal Dumping in the Chilliwack River Watershed
Illegal dumping and littering of garbage, yard waste, camping equipment, household furniture,
construction materials, yard waste, automobiles and automobile parts, stolen property, etc., is a
very significant and ongoing issue within the Chilliwack River Watershed. Illegal dumping is
known to commonly occur throughout the Vedder-Chilliwack River corridor, from the canal to
Chilliwack Lake. The problem is of most concern along the dikes, areas close to the river that
have good vehicle access, and along forest service roads (e.g. bench road).

Watershed Concerns
Garbage and pollution are major concerns and complaints raised by the community and by
planning participants during the CRWS process. Illegal dumping of garbage and waste results in
numerous serious economic, social, and environmental impacts to the watershed, including:
     Health and safety hazards for the public and wildlife (e.g. needles, broken glass, toxic
       substances, etc.);
     Impacts to water quality from leaching or dumping of waste near water courses (e.g.,
       gasoline, diesel, etc from disposed automobiles);
     Wildlife that can be poisoned or injured by abandoned waste, and bears or other
       carnivores that may develop a taste for human food and consequently become a hazard to
       human safety (which often leads to destruction of the animal);
     Fire hazard risks by spontaneous combustion or by arson of waste such as propane tanks,
       lighters, gasoline and oil containers;
     Visual impacts from large piles of waste and garbage on tourism and all stakeholders;
     Spread and introduction of invasive species through the illegal dumping of live or organic
       material (e.g., yard or garden waste, unwanted pets, etc);
     Cost of cleanup and remediation; and
     The cumulative and propagating perception that it is acceptable behaviour to dispose of
       garbage or waste at a common dumping site or a site that already contains other waste.

Vision and Goals
Vision: The Chilliwack River Watershed is a place where visitors and residents are responsible
and respectful and where no garbage is illegally dumped within the watershed.

Goal: To reduce the amount of garbage illegally dumped in the watershed.


Not only does illegal dumping have multiple impacts, the issue is a result of numerous causes.
While much of the waste is dumped by long and short term recreation users (e.g. food and gear
left by campers, human waste left by all types of users, fishing line and gear left by fishermen,
etc), a significant portion of the waste is the result of crime (e.g. drug trafficking, theft),
avoidance of tipping fees, a lack of understanding of where to dump (e.g. household waste such
as appliances), or social issues that lead to homelessness and squatting (e.g. tent cities).
Although part of the solution will require site clean up to remove the existing waste and garbage
and to discourage further illegal dumping, the root causes of the issue need to be addressed in
order to truly solve the problem and not simply relocating it to an adjacent watershed.

5.5 Issues and Concerns not Addressed by CRWS
Not all watershed issues and concerns raised by stakeholders or planning table participants were
able to be fully analyzed during this phase of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy. It is
hoped that another planning structure, and a future version of CRWS, will be able to address
these issues that have important impacts on the various values within the Chilliwack River

      Non-point source contamination in the watershed (besides illegal dumping)
      Water quality status and trends
      Detailed fish population status and health
      Drinking water protection, conservation, and management
      In-stream gravel extraction
      Air quality
      Forest fire history and management
      Privatization of Crown land and resources
      Private property rights
      Habitat protection (identification of potential protected areas beyond FVRD Regional
       Parks Plan)
      United States portion of watershed
      Cultus Lake portion of the watershed
      Integration with other planning processes (Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy,
       Vedder River Management Committee)

6.0 CRWS Recommendations
Through the CRWS process, a large number of recommendations were provided to help preserve
and protect all of the watershed values within the Chilliwack River Watershed for future
generations. These recommendations, and accompanying rationale and discussions, are available
in each Issues and Alternative Report (available at:
They have been categorized and summarized below for convenience.

It is the responsibility of all stakeholders who lives, works, recreates, visits, or appreciates the
Chilliwack River Watershed to try to achieve sustainability within this special watershed. We

hope that the following recommendations will provide some guidance and direction for
achieving this goal.

1. Community and stakeholder dialogues to improve understandings and resolve areas of
   a. Conduct or support information sessions, forums, tours, etc. to improve the level of
      awareness about issues amongst public and stakeholders regarding mining, forestry, and
      IPP activities within the Chilliwack River Watershed, including cross-cultural
   b. Conduct or support facilitated dialogues and conversations amongst recreational user
      groups for improved understandings, conflict resolution, and watershed sustainability
            i. Anglers using different fishing techniques
           ii. Motorized versus non-motorized recreation users
          iii. Recreation interests versus other interests (i.e., resource extraction, cultural
               heritage, residential, environmental, etc)
   c. Engage First Nations, stakeholders, and the local community in dialogue and decision-
      making regarding hatchery production levels and ways to mitigate negative impacts of
      high hatchery production levels & angling effort on wild salmon populations, angling
      success and experience, other users and residents, and other wildlife species

2. Improved information collection and management:
   a. Develop a list of representatives from NGOs and government agencies who are
      knowledgeable about other values in the watershed to assist with informed decision-
      making and referral processes
   b. Collect and share information (through consultations and dialogues amongst relevant
      stakeholders) of important watershed values, sites, features, and issues throughout the
      Chilliwack River Watershed, including:
           i. Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and key biodiversity "hot spots"
          ii. Locations of known human use impacts (e.g., recreation impacts, illegal dumping)
         iii. Areas of conflict between different land users (e.g., between recreationists,
              between recreationists and other land uses, etc)
         iv. Consolidate existing information regarding the level of risk posed to existing
              development and infrastructure, factors contributing to hazard risk, potential
              hazard management strategies and the effectiveness/impacts of these strategies,
              and important fish and wildlife habitat along the river to facilitate improved
              decision making
   c. Update current mapping information available pertaining to:
           i. Streams (including lost streams) and habitats around settlement area
          ii. Common recreation sites and access points
         iii. Updated floodplain mapping, detailed terrain mapping, and slope and creek
              hazard identification
   d. Conduct or support improved information management (by key agencies) about
      important watershed values and features of the Chilliwack River Watershed:
           i. Develop a common and accessible database and mapping to track all restoration
              projects conducted and proposed for the Chilliwack River Watershed

          ii. Link or streamline invasive species data to create a single, comprehensive
              database for the Chilliwack River Watershed

3. Community stewardship and action:
   a. Support community and stakeholder efforts/initiatives that promote the sustainable use of
      the Chilliwack River Watershed, that raise awareness about the watershed values, and
      that foster a sense of pride that encourages local users to monitor watershed activities.
      Recommended community-based initiatives include:
           i. Citizens on Patrol
          ii. Adopt-a-Site Programs
         iii. Community Clean-ups
         iv. Angler Ambassador Programs
          v. Invasive species pulls
   b. Promote or encourage either the development of existing organizations, or the
      establishment of a new environmental organization, that serves: to represent a common
      community voice (strength in numbers), to act as an informed and knowledgeable contact
      source for local governments and proponents, and to foster ongoing outreach and
      advocacy works within the Chilliwack River Watershed

4. Information distribution, awareness, and publicity:
   a. Distribute information that educates and informs the public and watershed users about the
      values of the Chilliwack River Watershed and what can be done to protect these values
      (including invasive species identification, impacts from illegal dumping, pollution, and
      irresponsible recreation, where to dispose of garbage safely and responsibly, how to fish
      responsibly and legally, and the importance of and impacts to cultural heritage sites and
      features), using the following potential methods:
            i. Brochures
           ii. Media releases
          iii. Website (e.g.,
          iv. Training (of user groups, agencies, etc.)
           v. Landowner or user contact programs (e.g., Citizens on Patrol, Angler Ambassador
          vi. Signage (e.g., at Thompson Park)
         vii. Information centre along Chilliwack Lake Road
        viii. Open houses/events

5. Strategic long-term planning for the watershed:
   a. Encourage the FVRD to update the Official Community Plan for Electoral Area “E” to
      include goals and objectives reflective of current community values and to address
      community concerns pertaining to residential and commercial development impacts
   b. Develop a long-term prioritization plan of watershed needs and habitat restoration and
      enhancement opportunities within the Chilliwack River Watershed
   c. Develop a comprehensive hazard management strategy for the Chilliwack River that
      incorporates and accommodates fish and habitat values, while presenting a planned
      approach to community safety and protection

   d. Develop a long-term land use plan for the Chilliwack River Watershed, using multiple-
      stakeholder input, watershed or sub-watershed modeling (e.g., QUALYMO, WET), and
      socio-economic factors, that plans for:
           i. Suitable and unsuitable locations and criteria for IPP development
          ii. Locations of sensitive or important environmental, cultural, and recreational
         iii. Locations of potential conflict between watershed users and values
         iv. Identification of potential recreation growth sites and associated management
          v. Adequate buffer zones between conflicting land uses (e.g., between camping sites
              and working forest) and opportunities where different sectors can work together
              towards shared goals (e.g., woodlot operator to provide cut wood for
              neighbouring campsite)
   e. Encourage the Chilliwack River Nuisance Mitigation team (or future version of this
      committee) to consider strategic recreation planning at a watershed-scale rather than just
      riparian areas, and to expand its scope so as to consider all recreation-related issues that
      occur on non-managed crown land

6. Decision-making to account for all watershed impacts and values and to utilize the
   precautionary approach for avoiding potential impacts:
   a. Enhance efforts to elicit public feedback for Crown land licenses or permits (longer time,
      better advertised via centralized website, more active engagement) regarding changing
      use of Crown land
   b. Promote low-impact resource extraction within CRW to protect the important and
      sensitive environmental, recreational, social, and cultural values of the watershed,
           i. Ecosystem-based Management Principles for forestry
          ii. Mandatory minimum Eco-Logo standards and criteria for IPPs
         iii. Beyond minimum requirements for reclamation and restoration following
              completion of the activities to return land to original condition as soon as possible
   c. Consider and manage for the habitat requirements of all species and ecosystems and use
      ecological information and BMPs to facilitate sustainable land use decision-making
   d. Evaluate and adjust hatchery production levels and rearing and release strategies
      according to continued annual monitoring and stock assessment of both wild and
      hatchery populations to determine if stock enhancement is successful or not and if it is
      helping to meet the program objectives (i.e., ‘adaptive management’)
   e. Support the continued implementation of the FVRD Regional Growth Strategy (RGS); in
      particular, to encourage development that is sensitive to the sense of place, history, and
      unique character of each community
   f. Support FVRD adoption of Provincial Develop with Care Guidelines
   g. Develop guidelines (e.g., MOE BMP documents) or a review process that outlines a
      process for restoration project proponents to follow in order to mitigate potential negative
      impacts from the project
   h. Encourage Fisheries and Oceans Canada to take a leadership role in promoting
      ecosystem-based restoration (e.g., by more fully integrating consideration of other values
      when planning and executing fish habitat restoration projects)

    i. Request project funders to require and to pay or additional studies and design criteria for
       habitat restoration or enhancement projects to ensure that the activities do not negatively
       impact other watershed values or features (e.g., species-at-risk inventories, monitoring for
       invasive species, impacts to non-target species, etc.)
    j. Directly involve Sto:lo agencies (e.g., Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribe, Sto:lo Nation/Tribal
       Council) in decision-making processes regarding landuse decisions that affect the
       Chilliwack River Watershed.

7. Pursue dialogue for increased legal or policy protection of sensitive or important
   sites/values within the watershed:
   a. Fisheries Sensitive Watershed designation (under FRPA), requiring forestry activities do
       not negatively impact downstream hydrology and habitat
   b. Mineral Reserve or Notation of Interest (NOI) designations for key sensitive locations
       within the watershed to protect sites from potential land use impacts (e.g., mining)
   c. Sensitive Stream designation (Fish Protection Act) to protect sensitive streams from
       potential impacts on flow rates caused by IPP or other developments in the watershed
   d. Promote continued discussions and studies to pursue proposed and potential regional
       parks in the Chilliwack River Watershed as outlined in 2003 FVRD Regional Parks Plan1
   e. Encourage local governments to assist in asserting policy compliance with the Sto:lo
       Heritage Policy Manual (2003).
   f. Encourage or research the feasibility of increasing enforcement of regulations regarding
       illegal dumping and illegal fishing behaviours. Possible activities may include:
             i. Banning overnight parking/camping on Chilliwack Lake Road between Vedder
                and Tamihi to reduce recreation-related impacts at non-designated sites
            ii. Installing lights or cameras at key dumping sites within the watershed
           iii. Targeted enforcement campaigns at key sites (illegal dumping) and at key times
                (illegal fishing) by responsible government agencies (MOE, DFO)
           iv. Increasing fines, training requirements, and licensing requirements to address and
                discourage angling infractions
            v. Discussions amongst key responsible agencies and stakeholders (including sport
                fishing organizations and anglers) regarding possible regulatory changes
                associated with fishing practices on the Chilliwack River:
                     1) Making changes/additions to the definitions for snagging, flossing, and
                         foul-hooking to help enforcement officers make clear distinctions between
                         violators and anglers fishing legally
                     2) Restricting leader length to 3 feet (1 m) to reduce the high incidence of
                         snagging in the mouth
                     3) Implementing a circle hook restriction to help address the high incidence
                         of snagging

  The FVRD Regional Parks Plan (2003) discusses two potential regional parks for the Chilliwack River Watershed:
(1) Chilliwack River Regional Trail: “The Region should negotiate to establish a regional park trail along the south
bank of the river, downstream of the Tamihi Bridge as far as the Soowahlie Indian Reservation and including the
land between the river and the Vedder Logging Road.”
(2) Mount Thurston to Mount Cheam Alpine Ridge (area of interest): “Not only a scenic feature, the Thurston-
Cheam ridge is a growing recreation site which attracts a large number of hikers, snowmobilers, skiers, and other
visitors each year… The connection of the ridge trail systems to other local and regional trail systems would be a
long-term goal. Additional study of recreation potential and the need for environmental protection is needed.”

                     4) Implementing spot closures to address specific angling problems at
                        specific times/locations
                     5) Implementing a card or tag system to limit the annual catch of all species
                        of salmon to sustainable numbers, similar to the chinook and steelhead

8. Habitat restoration or enhancement projects to restore ecological processes and to
   enhance the wildlife and biodiversity value of the Chilliwack River Watershed:
   a. Improved communications amongst restoration proponents (perhaps with an annual
      forum) to discuss projects, watershed needs, ideas, and opportunities for collaboration
   b. Rehabilitate past restoration projects that are no longer effective or are not functioning as
      intended, if the anticipated benefit is likely to outweigh the cost
   c. Complete all high priority off-channel habitat restoration projects, including the
      completion of the high priority road deactivations and riparian assessments/restorations,
      outlined in the EBA Watershed Restoration Plan 1
   d. Visit old mine sites and assess current impacts and potential for reclamation (e.g.,
      historical site of Red Mountain Mine)

9. Improved monitoring of watershed health and use:
   a. Establish and monitor over time multiple stations throughout the watershed to collect
      environmental indicator data including:
           i. Turbidity
          ii. Water temperature
         iii. Water quality (possible contaminants such as lead or faecal coliforms)
         iv. Nutrient levels
          v. Water levels (baseflow and peak flow levels)
         vi. Biological indicator species (groups or types of biological resources) that can
               assess the biological health condition of the watershed
   b. Develop ecological monitoring programs that can provide information on local changes
      and desired ecosystem attributes comparable over time and by location (monitoring
      activities should use standard protocols in study design, sampling procedures, sample and
      data analysis and reporting methods)
   c. Monitor past restoration projects for effectiveness and maintenance requirements
   d. Support in-field monitoring of activities (e.g., ‘watershed rangers’) regarding the
      protection and preservation of Sto:lo cultural heritage sites and features

10. Research studies to fill important information gaps about watershed health and use:
    a. Inventories or assessments of species at risk distributions and occurrences within the
       Chilliwack River Watershed
    b. Assess the need for future stabilization of clay slides, prioritizing works required to
       stabilize slides, and undertaking priority activities
    c. Examine the rationale for/potential positive and negative affects of large woody debris
       additions, nutrient augmentations, and spawning gravel placement in the Chilliwack
       River Watershed

 EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., 2001. Chilliwack River Watershed restoration plan. Final Report. Submitted to
Cattermole Timber, Chilliwack, BC.

   d. Investigate the interrelationship between hatchery production levels, escapement levels of
      both wild and hatchery fish, angling effort and success, and impacts to the watershed and
      its native species (e.g., salmonids and non-salmonids)
   e. Support the undertaking of a risk analysis to identify which invasive species pose a
      significant, or potentially significant, threat to the Chilliwack River Watershed (i.e. if
      they were to become established and/or widespread) and which ecosystems/species are
      most at risk within the watershed (e.g. rare species or ecosystems)
   f. Recreation capacity for the Chilliwack River Watershed (primarily for the amount of
      fishing that the river can safely sustain without negatively impacting the watershed, other
      watershed values, or relying on hatchery production)
   g. Trends in fishing behaviours (including fishing numbers, satisfaction surveys, methods
      used, incidences of foul-hooking, etc.) in the Chilliwack River Watershed, resulting
      socio-economic impacts, and options for addressing
   h. Increasing heritage research aimed at increasing cultural heritage inventory and
      management capacity.

7.0 Next Steps
Implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and revisions are the critical next steps of CRWS to
ensure not only that the results from this lengthy process do not simply end up on a bookshelf
collecting dust but that lessons learned from this process can be applied to subsequent processes
in other watersheds. The goal is to have CRWS remain a living, active, and relevant document
well into the future. We owe this level of commitment and follow-through to the watershed and
to the people, agencies, and organizations that have dedicated their time, energy, and funding to
see CRWS evolve from a concept to a reality for the benefit of the Chilliwack River Watershed.

Many of the factors that make watershed management plans so badly needed also pose
challenges to implementing them. These factors include:
    A lack of legislative authority;
    Issues that pertain to multiple boundaries, jurisdictions and authorities;
    Watershed health is affected by individuals, organizations, and agencies (i.e., different
       levels); and
    Unique frameworks, resources, positions, limitations, and policies associated with each
       watershed stakeholder guiding their own decision-making agendas and priorities.

These challenges certainly apply to the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy. Moreover, the
comprehensive nature of the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy, and the fact that it was
developed by a broad partnership at arms-length from any single government agency, raise
further implementation challenges. It is unlikely that the Strategy, taken as a singular whole, can
be adopted wholesale by any one of the target implementation agencies. However, agreeing to
adopt specific recommendations or principles outlined in CRWS that are within their jurisdiction
or mandate is achievable. Convincing them that doing so is within the best interest of the
watershed is the responsibility of all stakeholders interested in a healthy and sustainable
Chilliwack River Watershed.

8.0 Summary
There is no consensus on the concept, definition, and application of sustainable development. To
some, these two words are an oxymoron. Yet as British Columbians we are faced with the
challenges of a resource-based economy where extraction or recreational usage may not sustain
the resource for future benefits. To improve decision-making, we collectively need to include
total cost accounting that includes economic, social, and environmental dimensions in order to
consider all watershed impacts. Land uses that result in other watershed externalities, such as
pollution, sedimentation, instability, water consumption, by-catch, or the loss of important
cultural sites, need to be re-evaluated so that the benefits collected by a few are not occurring at
the expense of future generations. This is crucial not only for the Chilliwack River Watershed
but for British Columbia.

Through this watershed planning work, we ask all sectors to use this planning document and
associated products to aid and inform in their decision-making process so that decisions made
today do not negatively impact the future. We ask that when making decisions affecting the
Chilliwack River Watershed to consider future values so we can all look forward to a healthy
watershed which can continue to sustain healthy people, good economies, and healthy fish and

A. Project Participants

The following people participated on the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy Project Team or
the Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy Executive Committee:

   Alan Kenney (PSF)                                 Jessica Morrison (SRRMC)
   Annie Dempster (FVRD)                             Kerry Grozier (MFR)
   Barry Eastman (MOT)                               Kevin Walker (ILMB)
   Bob Stanton (DFO)                                 Krista Englund (FVRD)
   Brian Clarke (MOE) ?                              Lance Lilley (FVRD)
   Brad Mason (DFO/CMN)                              Larry Commodore (Soowahlie First Nation)
   Brad Whittaker (UCFV/FVRWC)                       Len Leroux (MFR)
   Carl Commodore (Soowahlie)                        Lidia Jaremovic (DFO)
   Corino Salomi (DFO) ?                             Lincoln Douglas (Soowahlie)
   Dale Paterson (DFO)                               Linda Stevens (DFO)
   Dave Barnes (DFO/resident)                        Marion Robinson (FBC)
   Dave Lamson (CRAC/FVRD)                           Mark Johnson (DFO)
   Dave Schaepe (SRRMC)                              Matt Foy (DFO)
   Dawn Smith (FVRD)                                 Meeri Durand (FVRD)
   Debora Sutter (Great Blue Heron Nature            Mike Hofer (FVRD)
    Reserve)                                          Nelson Kahama (Soowahlie)
   Doug Kelly (Sto:lo Tribal Council Grand           Rob Knight (MOE/CMN)
    Chief)                                            Ron Valer (DFO)
   Doug Wilson (FVRD)                                Ross Neuman (MOE)
   Ed Woo (DFO)                                      Roy Mussell (Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribes)
   Ernie Victor (FBC)                                Ryan Durand (Taara Environmental)
   Francis Mussell (Soowahlie)                       Sabina Kasprzak (FVRD)
   Frank Malloway (Sto:lo Elder)                     Shannon Sigurdson (FVRD)
   Frank Sobkowich (FVRD)                            Stacey Barker (FVRD)
   Gary Sutherland (ILMB)                            Steve Marsh (UCFV)
   Gene MacInnes (MFR)                               Sylvia Letay (MOE)
   Graham Daneluz (FVRD)                             Tara Friesen (City of Chwk)
   Greg Wilson (MOE) ?                               Tom Bell (MOE) ?
   Harold Beardmore (DFO)                            Tom Blackbird (MOE) ?
   Hugh Sloan (FVRD)                                 Tom Cadieux (DFO)
   Jack Mussell (Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribes &
    Skwah First Nation)                            Anyone else???
   Jan Jonker (Tamihi Logging)

B. Abbreviations Used
ATV           All-Terrain Vehicle
BMP           Best Management Practices
BC            British Columbia (Canada)
CFB           Canadian Forces Base
CLASS         Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy
CMN           Community Mapping Network
COSEWIC       Committee for the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
CRAC          Chilliwack River Action Committee
CRWS          Chilliwack River Watershed Strategy
DFO           Fisheries and Oceans Canada
ESA           Environmentally-Sensitive Areas
ILMB          Integrated Land Management Bureau
IPP           Independent Power Producers
FBC           Fraser Basin Council
FRPA          Forest and Range Practices Act
FVRD          Fraser Valley Regional District
FVRWC         Fraser Valley Regional Watersheds Coalition
LRMP          Land and Resource Management Plan
MFR           BC Ministry of Forests and Range
MOE           Ministry of Environment (BC)
MOT           BC Ministry of Transportation
MW            Megawatts (of power)
NGO           Non-Government Organization
NOI           Notation of Interest
OCP/OSP       Official Community Plan/Official Settlement Plan
PSF           Pacific Salmon Foundation
QUALHYMO      Quality Hydrologic Model
RGS           Regional Growth Strategy
SARA          Species-at-Risk Act
SRRMC         Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre
TSA           Timber Supply Area
UCFV          University College of the Fraser Valley
WET           Watershed Evaluation Tool
WFSP          Watershed-based Fish Sustainability Plan

C. What’s in a logo?

The logo profiles an American dipper in recognition
of the large density of dippers that occur in the
Chilliwack River Watershed. These small song birds,
named for their ’dipping’ habit (i.e. they bend their
legs so their entire body dips up and down), often
accompany fishermen along the river in which they

Another important part of the logo is the salmon,
shown swimming up the river at the valley bottom.
Salmon are important in the Chilliwack River
Watershed for many reasons, including:
   o ecological (salmon provide nutrients for many other species)
   o cultural (salmon have been used for sustenance and ceremony by First Nations for
      thousands of years)
   o recreational (up to 1400 people have fished the river per day)
   o economic (one of the most productive salmon fisheries in BC)
   o symbolic (as the keystone species in the ecosystem, the presence of a strong and healthy
      wild salmon population represents a strong and healthy environment).

These key components are set against a backdrop of Slesse Mountain and Tamihi Mountain /
Mount McGuire. These mountains were selected due to their meaning and significance to the
Sto:lo as features of their cultural landscape. Per Sto:lo teachings, both mountains were created
by Xexa:ls, 'the Transformers,' who traveled through these lands in the distant past making the
world right and establishing many features of the landscape surrounding us today.


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