Echo Lake is a spectacular, partially protected, lowland ancient forest near Agassiz, BC on the east side of the Lower Fraser Valley. It is in the unceded territory of the Sts’ailes First Nations band (formerly the Chehalis Indian Band).
The area is home to perhaps the largest concentration of bald eagles on Earth, where thousands of eagles come each fall to eat spawning salmon in the Harrison and Chehalis Rivers and hundreds roost in the old-growth trees at night around Echo Lake. It is also home to bears, cougars, deer, mountain goats, and osprey, and was historically populated by the critically endangered northern spotted owl.
The vigilance of local landowners on the east side of Echo Lake, whose private lands restrict access to the old-growth forests on the Crown lands on the west side of the lake, have held-off industrial logging of the lake’s old-growth forests for decades. Local conservationists are interested in increased protection for eagles in the Harrison/Chehalis area and the protection of the Echo Lake Ancient Forest where the eagles roost at night.
The AFA successfully campaigned to have the old-growth forests protected on Echo Lake’s south side in early 2013 in a 55-hectare Old-Growth Management Area, but the campaign continues to try to save the remaining 40 hectares of public (Crown land) old-growth and mature forest on the north and west sides of the lake.
**Please note: Because of private lands blocking access to the Crown lands, individual hikers are not allowed to traverse the private property. Only organized hikes through the AFA with the landowners’ permission are allowed.