Back country stewards Orion Engar, FVRD Electoral E Director and Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society directors Dave Barnes and Mark Klein on a tour of the Chilliwack River Valley dumping areas to see the state of it, including Bench Road. (Nikki Rekman photo)

Tour of the Chilliwack River Valley showed shooting areas in better shape

But the number of pallets being torched in the back country keeps growing unfortunately

People who care about the state of the back country in the Chilliwack River Valley took a tour of the trash-dumping hotspots.

“We wanted to get a sense of the state of the valley,” said Nikki Rekman of the Chilliwack-Vedder Cleanup Society.

She and a couple of cleanup society directors accompanied FVRD Electoral Area E director Orion Engar on the recent tour.

The cleanup volunteers were looking ahead to their next garbage cleanup, which is on World Rivers’ Day, Sept. 24. The community cleanup will be staged this year from the Fish and Game Club.

“We wanted to monitor the traditionally bad areas as we head into summer,” she said. “We found some more dirty sites and some were in better shape.”

They’ll keep an eye on it through the summer season.

Some of the areas off the Bench Road are in better shape than expected.

The newly established 400-metre limit on either side of road for target shooting is having an impact.

“The new limit is potentially decreasing the shooter garbage. That is super positive and we are happy about that.”

That was the good news.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing the continued burning of wooden pallets,” she noted.

They’d like to see something stop wooden pallets from getting into the hands of those who would burn them in the first place.

FVRD rep Orion Engar said they’ve ordered large magnets to collect nails from the discarded piles of burned pallets.

“Typically this is the cleaner time of year. It was cleaner than I expected but you never know. Some spots in the quarry were still bad.”

He said word is getting out that these roads are not open to target shooting.

“Hopefully we’ll have a nice, safe summer.”