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OVERVIEW: The Chehalis Bald Eagle Café Project


The Harrison – Chehalis River complex is designated as Canada’s richest salmon river system and as a result also houses the world’s largest gathering of raptorial birds – in this case annually up to 10,000 bald eagles accumulate on these incredible four square kilometers of the Chehalis Flats.

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation fully cooperates with the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF).

Through our cooperative support we have supported the placement of underwater cams in the Chehalis system and this was followed by placement of the tower on the Chehalis Flats from which we successfully broadcast live images of the wintering eagles. Here we have further developed cooperation with Ducks Unlimited and the local Harrison Mills Community Association to assist in making the public more aware of this unique resource.

The Chehalis Bald Eagle Project is largely a St’ailes First Nations project (developed from a HWF Proposal). The HWF will develop and support the distribution of live streaming videos and the live video distribution of First Nations and nature talks from the interpretative centre. The Sts’ailes First Nations has agreed to fund and develop the trail, interpretive signs, trail guides etc.

BACKGROUND: The Chehalis Bald Eagle Cafe

The original Chehalis Bald Eagle Café Project was proposed by the HWF to the Sts’ailes First Nations. This proposal is already approved by the Sts’ailes First Nations Chief, Willy Charlie, the Sts’ailes First Nations Band and the Sts’ailes Development Corporation and supported by many other conservation and cultural organizations of the region. The project is to develop a site – The Bald Eagle Cafee – where bald eagles can be enticed to eat while being viewed from a blind by the public and schools. The eagles will be served with spawned-out fish and mammal carcasses of the region. The Sts’ailes First Nations will be coordinating and developing the tourist potential from this project in association with their owned and managed Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge. Book early!!

The HWF has worked with the Sts’ailes people on developing this project and the Foundation has offered underwriting and developing the live streaming and interpretative center broadcasts.

PURPOSE: Why the Hancock Wildlife Foundation proposed this project?

We wish to tell the river’s survival story through the integration of live cams showing the extent of life in this richest of rich valleys and telling the tales through the eyes of both First Nations ancestors and today’s scientists. We wish to integrate and expand our existing live underwater cams that show the 5 salmon species, the steelhead and other trout species along with one of the world’s longest surviving fish species, the sturgeon.

As this annual salmon spawning takes place, it attracts a world class gathering of scavengers and predators: the waterfowl, including hundreds of wintering trumpeter swans, thousands of ducks, geese and gulls and the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles. It is this diversified richness that has supported over 6 millennia of humans at this very site. This must continue.

Between using these underwater cams to show the life of salmon and sturgeon, we will incorporate several live HD – PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras that are operated by the public or students. Finally we are planning to assist the Sts’ailes First Nations people by funding part of the proposed Chehalis Bald Eagle Café (details in a separate proposal).

Other cams will be utilized to do live interviews with the First Nations people about their life along the river, about and with the students and public coming to view this wildlife bonanza along the river or at The Bald Eagle Café and to discuss with local or visiting scientists the meaning and value of this river complex.

The Harrison – Chehalis Project integrates 10 live cams. The Hancock Wildlife Foundation seeks sponsorship for the broadcast components of this project and the Sts’ailes First Nations is seeking support for their contributions.

CBECP Budget: Chehalis Bald Eagle Café Project

HWF Component:

HD 2 x ptz @ $3700: $7400.

1 wide angle $500.

1 computer/ encoder $2000

Laptop for remote: $2500

Camera for remote: $4000

Transceivers: 1 set: $800

Prep & Install: $3500

Encoder, wiring, storage 2x $4000

Annual Cable fee: $3000

Install electricity: $5000

Total cost with small contingency: $35,000.00

Sts’ailes Component:

Assumes Sts’ailes is building hide $15,000

Assume Sts’ailes is paying for salmon transport = $300éwk x 18 $5400

Assume St’ailes is buying transport vehicles: $10,000

Assume Sts’ailes is preparing trail, electricity + labeling: $20,000

(With contingencies these insitu costs could be: $50,000)