The Frolek family has been ranching in the Thompson River Valley since 1906. Originally starting with a single quarter section (160 acres), the family business has expanded over the years and now encompasses over 35,000 acres of deeded land, and over 275,000 acres in leased/licensed grazing lands. Priding themselves on being excellent stewards of their land, the Frolek’s have worked with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other organizations to protect and enhance the lands under their care.
Farmland Advantage is working with the Frolek Cattle Company on a project involving habitat protection, grazing management, and rangeland enhancements. Several restorative actions are taking place, including weed control and targeted and rotational grazing through fence maintenance and installation.
Invasive species can increase fire vulnerability, impact the health of native species, and diminish the grazing quality of the land. To control weeds on the Frolek site, a spot-spray tactic is used, with occasional ATV use to contain knapweed and other noxious invaders.
Grazing herbivores improve grassland biodiversity, contribute to enhanced carbon sequestration, and reduce fuel that fires use to burn. However, if they graze in one area too long it can deplete the land and cause poor grassland health. Managing grazing is frequently done through two methods, targeted and rotational grazing. Targeted grazing is the practice of strategically placing cattle to reduce fuel load, which is an important part of wildfire prevention. Rotational grazing is the practice of restricting cattle with fences and rotating them through different pastures. Rotational grazing gives the land a break to reap the benefits of being grazed, improving biodiversity and soil health.
On the Frolek site, construction of an 1,800-meter cross fence is taking place. This fence will split the pasture into two, allowing for better range management. Additional maintenance work is being done to existing fences as well. This action will improve the health of the pasture.