Rural Stuart Nechako

Welcome to Rural Stuart Nechako

Agriculture has also been crucial in the development of Nechako River Valley since the first settlers arrived in the area in 1914, coming in response to the promise of affordable land made available by the Federal Government and the Grand Trunk Railway Company.

The word Nechako derives from the Carrier Indian word meaning big river, and Stuart Lake was named in honour of John Stuart of the North West Company, who wintered in the area in 1806/7. Stuart was one of the two clerks who accompanied explorer Simon Fraser on his famous journey down what is now named the Fraser River. In 1809 Stuart succeeded Fraser in the command of the New Caledonia District. He became a partner in the Northwest Company in 1813 and a Chief Factor in the Hudson’s Bay Company, after the merger between the HBC and NWC in 1821.

The Stuart River was the exploration route of Simon Fraser and the travel route of the New Caledonia fur trade canoe brigades. Paddlewheelers plied the rivers (circa 1900) to supply Fort St. James and other fur trading outposts. Today, riverboats guide visitors along the river from the Sturgeon Point Road or from Fort St. James.

A large acreage of comparatively flat land surrounding Vanderhoof is recognized as among the most favorable for farming in the Northern Interior. Most of the land is used to produce hay, grain and other fodder crops for beef and dairy cattle, which provide the bulk of the agricultural income. Local manufacturers and producers access domestic and export markets for their goods including cattle, dairy, sheep, swine, ostrich and forage crops.

The Nechako Basin has been identified as having significant petroleum and natural gas resource potential. However, due to their high degree of structural disruption, relative isolation and limited subsurface geological and geophysical information, its hydrocarbon potential has been difficult to quantify. Ongoing resource assessment studies are now being conducted by the federal geological survey. This effort, in tandem with ministry exploration geological studies, will attempt to compile new data and identify new exploration opportunities in these areas.

Come back soon to discover more about Rural Stuart Nechako.

Website by REDI and Spark Design