Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park
|Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park|
View from Gott Peak
|Location||British Columbia, Canada|
|Nearest city||Lytton, British Columbia|
|Area||1,071.91 km2 (413.87 sq mi)|
|Established||November 22, 1995|
|Governing body||BC Parks & Lytton First Nation|
Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada. Nearly the complete Stein River watershed from the mountains to the Fraser River is protected in this park, though there are some areas of the watershed that were left out.
History and conservation
In the 1980s there was a plan to log the valley. This was protested by the environmentalists who argued that this was the last untouched watershed in the southern Coast Mountains. In 1988 Fletcher Challenge announced a moratorium on logging the Stein. After strong public support, and an annual music festival that raised awareness, the Stein Valley was finally protected as a park on November 22, 1995. It is jointly administered by the Lytton First Nation and BC Parks.
The name "Stein" comes from the Nlaka'pamux word "stagyn", which means "hidden place". This land is an important spiritual land for the First Nations in the area. There are a number of pictographs in the park. Some are easily visible, others must be sought out, and some are closely guarded secrets of the local people.
The park protects over 50 species of mammals, including mountain goat, cougar, wolverine, black bear and grizzly bear. Bird species include golden eagles, sharp shinned hawks, barred owls, pygmy owls, white-tailed ptarmigan, pileated woodpeckers and rufous hummingbirds, as well as several species of chickadees, warblers and nuthatches. The Stein River contains Dolly Varden char, rainbow trout and Rocky Mountain whitefish, as well as steelhead trout, coho, pink and Chinook salmon.
This park has 150 km of backpacking trails and a number of wilderness camping areas. There are four cable crossings and a suspension bridge across the river. The Lower Stein Valley from the Lytton trailhead to the Suspension Bridge Camp has become increasingly popular for school outdoor education groups.