Buck Mountain Provincial Grazing Reserves

Established: 1964
Area: 17,114 acres (6925.79 hectors)
Terrain: Gently undulating on the west side to strongly rolling on the east side
Region: Central mixed wood and lower foothills natural subregions
Nearby municipalities: 25 km northwest of Winfield
Livestock Management: Buck Mountain Grazing Association (privatized April 1, 1997)
Looks after livestock and maintains the tame pastures in good, productive condition.
Maintains all fence lines, dugouts, one corral system and the buildings at the headquarters.
Grazing season: Mid-May to mid-October
Cattle: 6,900 head
Wildlife and game: Deer
Moose
Coyotes
Bear
Upland game birds
Recreation Activities: Camping
Fishing
Hunting
Trail riding
Snowmobiling
Cross country skiing
Industrial activities: Oil and gas production and seismic

The Buck Mountain Provincial Grazing Reserve headquarters is located approximately 25 km northwest of Winfield. One of the truly unique features within this reserve is a large hill located in the north central area. This topographical gem stands 3,100 feet high, provides a spectacular view of the surrounding area and is referred to as Buck Mountain. The overall topography of this reserve varies from gently undulating on the west side to strongly rolling on the east.

The reserve falls along the borders of the central mixedwood and lower foothills natural subregions and the landscape is dominated by a mixture of tame pastures and forested areas. The total area occupied by the reserve is 17,114 acres, of which about 10,335 acres have been developed into tame pasture.

Buck Mountain began operating in 1964. Over the years, the reserve has been the subject of discussion about the possibility of selling the better quality land to establish new farmers in the area. The reason for part of the discussion is the declining enrolment in the local schools which is affecting the efficiency of operating these schools. To date, both the County of Wetaskiwin and the Alberta Government have agreed not to sell off any portions of this reserve. The basis for this decision is the reserve currently benefits many more Albertans than it would if it were sold off to establish a few new farmers.

The main use of the reserve is for livestock grazing, but many other uses occur in this same area. Camping, fishing and hunting are among the major recreational activities on the reserve. A campground, established on the north shore of Buck Lake, provides unserviced sites, fire pits and a small concrete boat launch. The whitefish and pickerel fishing are excellent. In the fall, big game hunting is permitted in most parts of the reserve. With the permission of the regional grazing reserve manager, trail riding, snowmobile rallies and cross-country skiing are encouraged. A pointing dog club has conducted trials on the reserve for several years.

The oil and gas industry is active with wellsites, oil roads, pipelines and seismic activities found throughout the reserve.

The developed pastures, interspersed with the forested areas of the reserve, provide for an abundance of wildlife habitats for deer, moose, coyotes, bear, and upland games birds.

Since April 1, 1997, the Buck Mountain Grazing Association has been responsible for the day to day livestock management within the reserve. This includes maintaining the tame pastures, the fences, dugouts, three dams, corral system and the buildings at the headquarters. The reserve normally provides grazing for 6,900 head of cattle and 46 head of horses.

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 Buck Mountain 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:

Public access is NOT permitted in fields with livestock or fields having locked gates for management reasons. Motorized vehicles including Off highway vehicles (quads, all terrain vehicles, motor bikes) are ONLY allowed on existing roads or designated trails (AS SHOWN ON GRAZING RESERVE MAP). Portions of these roads or trails may be closed on a temporary basis at different times during the grazing season for livestock management reasons. These areas will have locked gates. Vehicle access across pastures is only allowed for retrieval of game. Public access is NOT permitted in designated Restricted Areas for safety reasons. Organized Recreational Groups will require a formal letter of authority to access the Grazing reserve. Please leave gates as you find them. Overnight camping is NOT permitted, unless authorized by the Regional Grazing Reserve office. Winter snowmobiling is permitted between November 15 and March 31, subject to a minimum of six inches of snow cover being available. We would request that snowmobilers use designated trails held by organized clubs wherever possible. Snowmobile access is NOT permitted in fields or areas where there are livestock, which includes winter horse grazing. For more access information or Grazing Reserve Maps contact the Regional Grazing office in Drayton Valley @ ( 780 ) 542 6616.

  • 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.

For more information, see:

 

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Updated: Sep 17, 2015