chehalis river access trail : ribbon cutting Chehalis Trail : The Province
When Chief Willie Charlie of the Chehalis First Nation cut the ceremonial cedar “ribbon” Monday to open a unique salmon sport fishing trail near the Harrison River, he, more than anyone, knew the significance of this modest event.

The three-kilometre trail begins at the Chehalis Band’s recreational campsite north of Highway 7 on Morris Valley Road and allows sports fishermen easy access through properties, including Chehalis reserve lands, to pristine fishing spots on the Harrison River downstream from Harrison Lake.

The free trail was also established to promote peace and understanding between aboriginal and sports fishermen, who often finds themselves in conflict as some Fraser River stocks dwindle . . .

~ The Province
Oct. 6, 2009

Although conflict was a catalyst to conflict resolution, ongoing efforts to improve relations between the area First Nations and sport fishing groups resulted in the “Chehalis River Angler Trail” project. It was a great example of competing interests in the fishery working together in developing access to fishing for recreational anglers while preserving the integrity of sensitive First Nations land. Other participants in the process included Natures Trust of BC and representatives from both federal and provincial governments. This cooperation defused potential trespassing issues between the groups and protected sensitive cultural properties. The positive relationships fostered in this project was an important foundation for the success of Peacemaking when conflict arose on the river.

The establishment of the Trail in 2009 was one of the building blocks in the formation of Fraser River Peacemakers. Exemplary of the goals and the cooperative spirit inherent in the Peacemakers organization, the Trail continues to serve as an model and remains a priority for support by the organization (evidenced in the 2011 TRAIL Maintenance – Work Party).

PROJECT GOALS
  • Establish a protocol between the Chehalis Band and sport fishing interests (represented by the BCFDF) for access downstream of the Chehalis hatchery
  • Create a foot access trail and parking area for sport fishers to the lower Chehalis River to the local salmon and steelhead fishery
  • Build a relationship and understandings considered useful by both Parties for dealing with future management of the inland salmon fishery

Protocol : Chehalis – BC Federation of Drift Fishers
chehalis trail : cultural committee
  1. Work together to eliminate conflicts between anglers and residents, and a history of trespass and vandalism;
  2. Construct a trail that directs anglers away (west) from the Chehalis Healing Centre and graveyard, and off the dyke;
  3. Create a secure parking space that draws road-side traffic off crowded roadway and private property;
  4. Build a relationship from this small project as the basis for more complex access issues that may arise as Chehalis develops the local salmon fishery

2011 – Chehalis Trail: Maintenance Work Party
(click thumbnails to view gallery)
For detailed TRAIL PROJECT information:
Presentation pdf (2009)
(view /download : 19 pages)