Fraser River gravel removal for 2013 abandoned

The 2013 plan proposed 230,000 cubic metres, and it would have meant trucking to sites on the Gill and Hamilton bars in the Fraser River

Timing and consultation concerns raised by Cheam First Nation have put a program to remove gravel from the Fraser River gravel near Chilliwack on hold.

“This will be the third year of not being able to proceed,” Carol Loski, director of the flood protection program of Emergency Management B.C., told the Progress Tuesday. “As of today we are looking at abandoning the idea of removing sediment this year.”

The 2013 plan had originally proposed removal of 230,000 cubic metres, and it would have meant an estimated 16 gravel trucks an hour travelling to sites on the Gill and Hamilton bars, near Chilliwack.

A Feb. 4 letter from Cheam Chief Sidney Douglas stated that the duty to protect their aboriginal title and rights “requires a substantive engagement process that takes into account the concerns of our people.”

Impacts on traditional land uses and fish habitat, and the need to be included on the technical team and decision-making were cited in the letter.

“To date Cheam has not been consulted nor provided with all the necessary information to form the basis of a meaningful consultation process,” Douglas wrote.

But Loski said the Cheam were included in the overall consultation process, as well as that which was mandated through the permitting process for gravel removal.

“I have had regular contact with them, and feel comfortable saying yes we have consulted with them,” said the EMBC rep, adding that perhaps they’re seeking “more robust” involvement.

Another factor is that the six-to-eight-week fisheries window, where water levels are lowest, is about to close, affecting when in-stream gravel can be safely removed from the river with minimized impacts on the environment.

“The timing is one of the biggest elements,” said Loski.

They already lost more than a dozen working days in the fisheries window, meaning they likely wouldn’t be able to extract the proposed amount of sediment for 2013.

Marvin Rosenau, member of the Fraser River Gravel Stewardship Committee, said the overarching goal is obtaining a long-term hydraulic modelling plan for the river.

“It’s good to hear,” he said about the prospect that gravel mining plans are on hold this year. “None of the committee members believe it is a flood protection issue at stake. But if it truly is a flood protection issue, show us the money. We need a clear hydraulic model with comparisons from decade to decade.”

Loski said a new hydraulic model was forthcoming by Forests, Lands and Natural Resources officials. It was supposed to be part of a “parallel process” this year whereby they remove gravel at the same time as working on a long-term gravel management plan.

Just Posted

Chilliwack firefighter seeking to reunite Rosedale VFD’s old auxiliary fire pump with antique engine

It’s been four decades, but Pat Liebault is hoping to reunite Rosedale’s auxiliary pump and engine

Council approves rezoning for second housing project in Chilliwack with supports

The longer folks stay outdoors, the harder it is to bring them inside, BC Housing officials says

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

First court date in Chilliwack for man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance Wednesday

Around the BCHL: Nanaimo Clippers acquire defenceman from Langley Rivermen

Around the BCHL is a look at goings on around the BCHL and the junior A world.

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

BC Children’s warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Increased security, staffing changes coming to Colony Farms

Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital to get new safety measures, stop patient-on-staff violence

Still too many B.C. seniors in care facilities, on drugs

Seniors Advocate watching use of antipsychotics, opioids

Police raid Langley home in search for ‘extremely violent’ murder suspect

Several law enforcement agencies were at a Willoughby home, hunting for a man charged with murder.

Officials: 3 killed in shooting at Maryland Rite Aid centre

FBI described the Aberdeen incident as an ‘active shooter situation’

The hunt for online herb: feds seek dope on hazy world of pot’s ‘cryptomarket’

In less than a month, Canada to be first industrialized country to legalize recreational marijuana

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

Burnaby pedestrian in hospital after being hit crossing busy street

Driver remained on scene, is speaking to RCMP

Most Read