Fort Vermilion Provincial Grazing Reserve

Established: 1981
Area: 19,225 acres
Vegetation: Developed Tame Pasture
Region: Dry Mixedwood natural subregion
Nearby municipalities: 60 km northeast of High Level
Livestock management:

Fort Vermilion Grazing Association

Looks after livestock and maintains the developed pastures in good productive condition.

Maintains all fence lines, dugouts, corrals and the buildings located at the headquarters site.

Grazing season: Mid-May to October 31st
Capacity: 4,400 Animal Unit Months (AUMs)
Wildlife Bear

The Fort Vermilion Provincial Grazing Reserve, located about 60 km northeast of High Level is the most northerly reserve in the province. Even though the reserve is located so far north, the additional sunlight in this area of the province compensates for the shorter than normal frost-free period. The reserve is located along the border of the central and dry mixedwood natural subregion. The 19,225 acre site contains 8,935 acres of developed tame pasture. This development is mainly located on the western side of the reserve.

Grazing first took place on the flat pastureland in 1981. For a number of years the reserve had to look outside the local area to attract enough cattle to properly utilize the tame pastures. As time past, many of the new farmers in the area converted their grain farming operations to mixed farming operations that included cattle. Now the reserve is completely subscribed by local farmers and ranchers. About 2,300 head of livestock can graze during the five month grazing season that starts in mid-May.

Black fly infestations cause considerable unrest in the livestock. This is dealt with by providing oilers for the livestock at the dugouts. In order to access the water, the cattle have to pass through gates over which oilers are hung. The oilers dispense a solution of mineral oil and insecticide that keeps the flies away from the cattle. This increases the weight gained by the animals. There have also been bear and wolf predation occurrences in this remote area of the province.

The Ft. Vermilion Grazing Association accepted a renewable grazing management agreement on April 1, 1997. The association now maintains fences, dugouts, the corral system and the buildings at the headquarters.

Provincial Grazing Reserves are popular recreational sites for the general public. Following is a list of conditions that need to be adhered to when recreating on the Fort Vermilion Provincial Grazing Reserve:

Regulatory Conditions of Recreational Access

Under Sections 9(3) and 9(4) of the Recreational Access Regulation, recreational users must:

  • Not litter;
  • Have direct control of any animal brought onto the agricultural disposition land;
  • Not park vehicles so that they block an approach to land;
  • Not enter or use any building or improvement on the disposition;
  • Not cause any damage to the agricultural disposition land or the property of the disposition holder;
  • Leave gates and other property as they were found;
  • Comply with an applicable recreational management plan, if any; and
  • Comply with the restrictions, prohibitions, terms and conditions, if any, imposed by the Local Settlement Officer, or Director.

Specific Access Conditions for this Disposition:

  • LSO conditions – Foot access for recreational purposes is allowed during the grazing season (May 1 to October 31) only in pastures not occupied by livestock.
  • LSO conditions – No access is allowed to pastures where livestock are present.
  • LSO conditions – From November 1 to April 30, motorized vehicles are allowed on developed roads only.
  • LSO condition – Organized recreational groups must obtain a Letter of Authority from the Grazing Reserve office.


Page Information

Updated: Jul 27, 2016