The Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park has had to take measures to protect its native grasslands due to the extensive drought.
Starting tomorrow, Sept. 15, they are closing the park east of the train tracks for about two weeks to allow for the annual move of cattle.
"We are experiencing a very abnormal drought this summer, and as a result, our native grasses didn't grow as high as usual," explains Sarah Parker, executive director of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation. "So what that means is that our ranchers, as well as Alberta Parks staff and our foundation, have to make sure we're not overgrazing."
They are spreading the cattle over a larger area than normal to ensure the grasses stay healthy for next year and for the park's other animals to forage in the winter.
She says there are also some temporary fencing issues at the bordering Haskayne Legacy Park currently being developed by the City of Calgary. Some cattle have been escaping and ending up on the train tracks.
Park officials know some patrons will be disappointed with the closure, and appreciate their patience and understanding.
"I know that this is the time of year when there's so much fall foliage to take in, and people want to bike east, but if they're just a little bit patient they can get back in that area soon enough."