Established: 1979
Area: 5963 acres (2413.1 hectares) with approximately 2165 acres (876.1 hectares) developed for mechanical irrigation
Terrain: Level to gently rolling
Vegetation: Dryland tame pasture, irrigated tame pasture and native rangeland
Region: Dry mixed grass sub-region of the grassland natural region
Nearby municipalities: 0.8 km east of the Hamlet of Hays
Irrigation sources: Bow River Irrigation District
In the fall of 2005, a buried waterline was installed to provide fresh livestock drinking water to a water trough in each of 10 pivot circles and four dryland fields.
Livestock management: Badland Hills Cattle Grazing Association
(since April 1, 1997)

Maintains the fences, dugouts, the corral site and the buildings located at the headquarters site.

Starting in 2006, started to supply the bulls for the breeding program

Grazing season: Mid-May through mid-October
Cattle: Charolais
Dry cows
Yearling heifers
Capacity: 1470 head of cattle
Wildlife and game: Antelope
Upland birds
Recreational activities: Hunting in fall
Industrial activities: Oil and natural gas production

Alberta's sheep producers formed an association in 1973, and were given a grazing permit on this pastureland. Six years later, in 1979, Alberta Energy and Natural Resources assumed control of the Hays site and made it a grazing reserve.

The reserve was originally intended to provide grazing for sheep. For a number of years, sheep and cattle were run together to maximize the use of the irrigated forage. At one time, over 15,000 head of sheep grazed on the reserve. Recently, grazing opportunities offered to the sheep producers in forestry cut blocks became more favorable. As a result, the number of sheep patrons has drastically declined—so much so that the operation is now a cattle operation.

Until 2005, the reserve provided grazing for both cattle and sheep. The grazing of sheep was phased out by 2006. Now only cattle are grazing on the Hays Provincial Grazing Reserve.

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 Hays Provincial Grazing Reserve.

Industrial Guidelines and Industrial Operational Guidelines

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.

For more information, see:

Specific Access Conditions for this Disposition

  • LSO conditions - No recreational access is permitted in pastures where livestock are grazing.
  • LSO conditions - Recreational motorized vehicles allowed on existing gravel trails and roads only.
  • LSO conditions - No fires permitted at any time.
  • LSO condition - No recreational motorized vehicles allowed during a fire ban imposed by the Local Fire Authority.
  • LSO condition - No overnight camping is permitted.


Page Information

Updated: Sep 17, 2015