Disgusting, repulsive situation at West Bragg Creek

West Bragg Creek parking lot is becoming a stinking mess and health hazard

The shiny, new parking lot at West Bragg Creek is now littered with cattle excrement and urine. Numerous cows and a horny bull are wandering around, making a mess of it. 

This cow defecated in the creek near the parking lot

This situation should be considered intolerable, but obviously there is a rancher with grazing rights and for some unknown reason, the provincial government is reluctant to put an end to it. 

I have sent an email to my MLA, Cam Westhead, whose constituency also includes West Bragg, asking why this situation continues and why they won’t stop it.

Cattle, including a bull, wander freely at West Bragg Creek parking lot

Thousands of people recreate at West Bragg Creek, including kids and dogs. I observed a cow defecating in the creek, about 30 metres upstream from where the kids like to play in the water. I grew up on a farm with cattle, so I am aware of how much damage they can do to riparian areas. 

While biking at West Bragg today, I had to dodge lots of cow manure which was on the trails. I also encountered a barbed wire fence which is an inconvenience for me, but is deadly for wildlife. 

It’s ironic that dog owners are expected to clean up their dog’s poop when cattle create a much larger and dangerous mess without any concern. 

Who wants to park their vehicle in a bunch of cow sh*t? 


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  1. When you are in the great outdoors there are animals and obstacles, it’s not like being in a rec center where everything is made neat and clean just for you. While there may be issues here, they are not large and not unexpected when you venture outside our protected environment. Sorry, I had to suppress some laughter over these posts.

    Send me your home address, Gordon, and we’ll dump a pile of cow manure on your driveway, or wherever you park your vehicle. I bet you’ll be laughing right out loud! -Bob

  2. Disgusting, indeed.

    This is a continuous problem with many equestrian users as well – there is always horse manure and urine all over and on the shoulders of Highway 66, Sibbald Trail, Sheep River Road… not to mention the parking lots, and the pathways hikers and bikers use.

    No accountability – but it’s okay “because they only eat grass so their poop degrades easier”, right?

    Freedom to do whatever they want with the public land…

  3. I was biking there this morning and noticed one of the cows (who was with a calf) was limping very badly, so I will try to contact the owners listed in the post above but if anyone has other info on the owners, it would be good to get that cow looked after.

    • If it’s the same cow it has an ear tag – E7 and has been limping from an open wound on the left front leg for at least a week.
      The cowboy owner who grazes his cows in the PRA is named Bateman.
      If you get in touch could you ask him to please take his cows home with him.

  4. The Alberta Government agrologist contact email for this area is christine.boulton@gov.ab.ca The cattle are allowed to be there. The rancher pays a small amount of money to graze in the West Bragg Day use area.

  5. Hi Bob,
    These cows and bull are lost. They have gotten out of the grazing lease to which they belong and the owner does not realize there is a break in the fence. The nearest grazing kease is 3 kms or more away and it is required to be fenced. In that regard there should not be a barbed wire fence in the Bragg Creek recreation area. The Department of Lands should be contacted to investigate. A rancher may be overstepping their area. As to the potential owners of the cattle I looked it up on the Alberta Governments mapping tool and the 2 closest lease holders are Ulla Allan, 403-949-4015 and Wes Rattai, 403-236-1086. I phoned both numbers but just got an answering machine. I did leave messages with them both explaining the situation and the need to resolve the mess before anyone or children are impacted. There won’t be any one to call in the government until Tuesday and I will be out of province by then. This is not a fish and wildlife problem but a publc lands problem so don’t waste effort on the fish and wildlife people.

    • Sorry Lori but your information is not accurate.
      If you would like details on this grazing allotment please reference the contact link on Flora’s post…..

  6. This is a fitting post, Bob, since you’ve always been a sh*t disturber! Let’s hope the prov gov’t will finally do something about this dreadful situation.

  7. Unfortunately ranchers couldn’t care less about what damage their cows and horses cause to trails, creeks, and rivers. They expect everyone else to tolerate their bullshit though so they can carry on the tradition!

    • The revenue which the provincial government receives for cattle grazing is miniscule. It would pay for paving about 10 sq ft of the parking lot. There is something political and as you say, “traditional” about this practice. It’s one tradition which 99% of us would like to see abolished.

  8. Good thing it’s frozen, and under the snow in winter!?

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