We are frequently asked about the cattle that graze in WBC during summer. When Kananaskis Country was established in 1978, this area was assigned a multi-use land designation which includes cattle grazing, logging, oil and gas exploration, and recreation. Cattle grazing along the Eastern slopes of the Rockies has been a part of Alberta’s history for several generations.
Many wonder how cattle and trails can co-exist given the explosion of recreational users on the WBC trail system. To reach a common management strategy for cattle grazing in this area, BCT is currently working with grazers, government land managers, Cows and Fish, and the Elbow River Watershed Partnership. Our goals are to protect the watershed and the trails through the use of cattle dispersing tools and techniques to entice the cattle away from the trailhead, trails, and wetland areas. To that end, BCT has installed new portable off stream waterers placed at strategic locations of high forage value that were identified by an extensive range survey. These moveable water sources will aide in maintaining healthy watercourses and minimize overgrazing. Once the cattle become habituated to this new system, impacts to recreational users will hopefully also diminish. You can read more here.
In the meantime, respectful co-existence requires that gates are closed behind us. BCT has endeavoured to make crossing fence lines easier by installing ride over cattle guards. Please keep dogs and (humans) from chasing cattle.
BCT invites users to share their trail experiences. These are regularly shared with our partners at Alberta Environment and Parks. Comments can be received through our e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments related directly to cattle grazing can be directed to Alberta Environment and Parks Range Agrologist, Christine Boulton at email@example.com.