Geographically, the Chilcotin Forest District is 2.9 million hectares in size; the district office, located in Alexis Creek, is found 112 km west of Williams Lake on Highway 20. The Chilcotin Plateau encompasses 60% of the district by area, while the Coast Mountains to the southwest encompass the other 40% of the district.
In the native tongue of the T’silhqot’in peoples, Chilcotin means “people of the blue waters”; this is a reference to the glacier fed waters of the Taseko River. The Taseko and Chilko Rivers drain into the Chilcotin River, which drains into the Fraser River at Farwell Canyon. In the west the Dean, Hotnarko, and the Homathko are some of the major drainages, with the Dean River being world renowned as one on the best fly fishing rivers in the world. Several undisturbed lakes and rivers fill the balance.
Sunny days with no clouds to be seen are the norm, rather than the exception in the Chilcotin.
The Chilcotin is sparsely populated throughout. From east to west along Highway 20 there are the villages of Hanceville, Alexis Creek, Tatla Lake and Anahim Lake, with the Tatlayoko Valley located just south of Tatla Lake. Our district is richly endowed with First Nations history. Four bands namely Stone, Nemiah, Anaham and Redstone make up the T’silhqot’in Nation and the Ulkatcho of the Carrier Nation reside in the Anahim Lake area. All in all approximately 5000 people reside in the Chilcotin Forest District.
Industry is predominately ranching, forestry and tourism based, with the prospects for mining on the increase.
With greater than 90% of the lands in the Chilcotin in the hands of the crown, recreation opportunities are endless; camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, river rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, heli-skiing and sledding are all favourite pastimes.
Other highlights found throughout the district include the volcanic cinder cones found in Itcha-Illgachuz Provincial Park, the largest freshwater lake of high elevation in North America in Chilko Lake and heli skiing in the Coast Mountains.