Natural Environment Best Practices
The second principle of developing the OH Ranch is to preserve, protect and enhance the natural environment. As much a part of the foothills as the big blue sky above it and the mountains behind, the OH Ranch is majestic; its grassland, forests and shrubs are home to numerous wildlife including grizzly bears, coyotes and a variety of deer. The endless natural beauty at the OH Ranch provides a safe home for livestock and wildlife unique to Alberta.
The Stampede will focus on implementing the industry’s best practices in land and ecosystem management to achieve this, both for operational excellence and as a worthy showcase to sharing those practices through learning opportunities.
The lands donated to the Calgary Stampede represent approximately one half of the original ranch. The 8,000-acre southern portion of the historic OH ranch near Longview has been gifted to the Stampede. This includes 4,500 acres of leased land, comprised of Alberta’s second ‘heritage rangeland’ protected area. A further 3,500 acres operates under an easement agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Given the property considerations, several years of careful management will be necessary to determine the optimum grazing rotation. A grazing holiday took place from spring 2012 to spring 2013 that helped prepare the grasslands for spring grazing to start in 2013. The Stampede will continue to evaluate and implement responsible ranching practices.