…and so it begins…

Ranchers object to Alberta government land sale near Medicine Hat
An association of cattle ranchers says its members are getting a worse deal under an open bidding process for a parcel of public land used for grazing than they were offered under a private deal that was quashed last fall.

Bow Island Grazing Association represents 40 ranchers who use nearly half of the 6,500 hectares located west of Medicine Hat that has been put up for sale.

Under a deal that fell through in November that would have sold the land directly to SLM Spud Farms last year, the ranchers were offered an alternative piece of land to graze their livestock by the province.

No such offer was made this time.

“They’re taking away part of our grazing permit,” said association president James Babe. “Part of the land will just be taken away from us and, they say, with no compensation.

“Some of our board met with them (Monday) and they weren’t even offering (alternative land).”

The grazing association has represented cattle ranchers for nearly 50 years. They pay for grazing permits and rental fees to use the land.

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