FVRD area E rep Orion Engar chats with campers. (Chris Gadsden photo)

Encampment dismantled near Sweltzer Creek in the Chilliwack River Valley after complaints

Garbage and debris removed from riparian area of the Chilliwack River, which stewards were seeking

The cleanup began Friday on the Chilliwack River to remove the mess left by illegal campers who were told they have until Nov. 13 to be out.

“Today Orion Engar and I joined the RCMP, NRO and the cleanup recycling company to start the cleanup of one of several sites near Sweltzer Creek,” said Chris Gadsden after returning to the trashed site in a riparian zone that he and others had alerted the authorities about.

READ MORE: Calls for cleanup help

Provincial staff visited the individuals who had been actively camping out on the river island that was only accessible by crossing the knee-deep stream channel.

Officials notified the people staying at the encampment that they had until Wednesday, Nov. 13 to leave with their belongings.

“The NRO handled the situation very well and made sure that the occupants would have accommodations to go to and they said they had,” Gadsden said.

The images show the cleanup in progress of the vacated site, which took hours. Many times in the past these cleanups are initiated by dedicated cleanup volunteers, but provincial officials have recently been stepping in to protect the vulnerable habitat from this kind of mindless desecration of natural resources.

Many residents have been reporting the illegal encampments to the province, and this site is one of many around Chilliwack, particularly the Chilliwack River Valley.

“So glad to see that this litter is not going to be washed downstream with a high-water event, ” Gadsden said.

Rain is in the forecast but not enough for the river to reach the main site.

“There will be challenges ahead but it is a start in protecting our beautiful Chilliwack River Valley.

“Thanks to all that helped this move along by making reports,” Gadsden added.

READ MORE: CRV has been a target by squatters


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FVRD area rep and a NRO rep talk to squatters at active camp on the Chilliwack River. (Chris Gadsden photo)

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