I know this news will be of interest to all of us – editor –
Written by Mike Mclean for Southern Alberta Foothills Agricultural News Okotoks, High River, MD of Foothills
A healthy slice of southern Alberta heritage is about to pass on.
The estate of the late “Doc” Seaman is offering the century and a quarter old Rio Alto or OH Ranch for sale. The properties at Longview, Pekisko, Dorothy and Bassano are listed at 49.2 million dollars.
The OH was up for offers last in 1987 when the Department of National Defence was ready to cut a cheque for 6 million to buy the home place west of Longview before a public outcry squelched the deal. Area rancher Tom Bews remembers teaming up with other neighbours, including Canadian music icon Ian Tyson to make sure the ranch didn’t become an army training ground. “It was strenuous”, he remembers, “a lot of stress and we couldn’t really believe what was happening to the heritage of Western Canada. So, we dug in and it was a win and then had a great neighbour, “Doc” Seaman”.
Seaman was able to get Heritage Rangeland designations from the province for the OH Longview and Pekisko holdings on the ranch’s 125th birthday in 2008, only the second to be so designated by Alberta.
Bews says neighbours will have to wait until the dust settles and see who becomes the new owner of the OH but he hopes it will remain intact and a member of the ranching community.