Burned-out garbage and pallets at Gill Bar is a regular occurrence. (Nikita Aikenhead photo)

Burned-out garbage and pallets at Gill Bar is a regular occurrence. (Nikita Aikenhead photo)

Gate has been installed at Gill Road bar in Chilliwack

It’s part of multi-stakeholder plan to control access and create a day-use area and campsites

A gate has been installed at Gill Road in Chilliwack as part of a plan to control squatters and illegal garbage dumping on the Fraser River gravel bar.

The gate was installed last week by City of Chilliwack staff, as part of a joint plan by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), to prevent the ongoing environmental damage to the foreshore on Crown land.

Part of the agreement with the ministry required the city to install the gate as the first step to controlling access to the gravel bar.

READ MORE: Gate and campsite considered for Gill

Provincial officials, including a natural resource officer, were on-site in Chilliwack early on Dec. 17 inspecting the Gill bar homeless encampments, and preparing to clear the area.

They spoke to several individuals living there, according to the ministry spokesperson, and notified them it is “unlawful for anyone to stay on Crown land” for more than 14 days under the Land Act.

“The cleanup of the site is anticipated to occur in the new year,” said the ministry rep.

Planning for the future of Gill bar has been ongoing quietly for more than a year with stakeholders like the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC, the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance, as well as city and FLNRORD reps.

Gill Bar is hugely popular with anglers, the four-by-four community, and others who enjoy recreating by the river, but in recent years, homeless squatters have also moved in to the sensitive riparian area, on the north side of Chilliwack.

The gate will stay open until ministry officials take over the site to initiate the cleanup. Then the gates will then be locked from dusk to dawn by a security contractor.

The long-term plan is to create a day-use area with campsites, boat launch and parking, all monitored and maintained by a park host, similar to the way the old Island 22 campground was run before erosion took most of the land away.

Matt Ion, communications director with the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC commented: “hopefully this helps dispel the rumours and calm some of the concerns about the area.”

With the planning for Gill underway, Ion added: “there’s a significant opportunity here for wheelers to continue to show we can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

A meeting between Chilliwack Natural Resource District, Compliance & Enforcement Branch (NRO), and BC Housing is set to determine the next steps.

READ MORE: Fraser cleanup headquartered at Gill bar


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gill Road bar is popular for recreation of all kinds, including dirt biking and four-wheeling. (Matt Ion photo)

Gill Road bar is popular for recreation of all kinds, including dirt biking and four-wheeling. (Matt Ion photo)

Just Posted

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, says people need to focus their attention on the upcoming byelection in Chilliwack. (BCSTA image)
‘Let’s not talk about Barry’ says BCSTA president on Chilliwack trustee

Higginson says impending Chilliwack byelection will require ‘laser focus’ to ensure balance of power

New Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust.
Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust in the mix for Swiss U20 roster spot

Fust is hoping to make the team that will compete in the World Junior Hockey Championships

An employee at a Chilliwack McDonald’s location tested positive for COVID on Nov. 21 (File photo by The Associated Press)
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at McDonald’s restaurant in Chilliwack

One case was detected at the Vedder Road location, which briefly closed its doors

Asbestos bag from 2011. (Chilliwack Progress file)
New limits coming for asbestos at the Bailey Landfill in Chilliwack

Restricted to 20 bags per day per property because they don’t have capacity for larger loads

Cascade Falls Regional Park is one of several Fraser Valley parks that saw record usage during the summer of 2020. (File photo)
Residents flock to Fraser Valley parks amid pandemic

Some trails saw usage double during summer months of 2020

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read