Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
On a good year, 3,000 cows and calves will graze out at the Beaver Creek Park located south of Havre. The grazing begins after Labor Day and continues until the end of December. Park staff and ranchers were busy this weekend moving all remaining cattle bringing rest to the park grounds. According to park superintendent Chad Edgar, cattle are the park’s No. 1 source of revenue, bringing in more than $40,000 dollars to cover the maintenence, operating costs and improvements of the park. The cattle also keep the grass trimmed and fire danger to a minimum, rejuvinating the park. Edgar noted that most of the ranchers who are grazing their cattle at the park are neighboring landowners, but not all. “It does make it more convenient to just take them over to the neighboring park than to haul them off somewhere else,” he said. Whose cattle is allowed to graze at the park is decided by the park board and the grazing committee, which serves as the park board’s advisory. Eligibility requirements for cattle owners are limited to those who are accessed in Hill County, comply with all the rules and regulations therein, and have a record of timely tax payments. At this time, there is a waiting list for grazing at the park with the capacity the park holds being full. “We have about 25 ranchers right now that have pretty much filled up the slots for grazing at the park. Most of these guys have been runNing their cattle and supporting the park for years,” Edgar said. “We ask anybody who is interested in grazing at the park write a letter of request to the park board and grazing committee.” The park is located on the northern slope of the Bear Paw Mountains and consists of approximately 10,000 acres, 17 miles long and 1 mile wide. It has recently had some improvements completed over the last year, especially to Camp Kiwanis, including a new fence, replacing cabin roofs that are old with new tin roofs, improving the storage area and most notable, building a new campground between Eagles and Shambo campgrounds named the Chuck Zartman Campground. The park staff has also spent time heavily improving the Bear Paw nature trails in cooperation with the Hill County Conservation District. The efforts were made possible by a grant that was awarded to install new educational signs, with a historical overview of nature and wild life in the area. Brush removal is next on the agenda for the staff who have been hard a work improving all the campgrounds a little at a time. The park offers unlimited opportunities for recreation such as sightseeing, hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Within the park are two lakes that are open to fishing all year round. Stream fishing opens the third Saturday in May. On the adjacent Rocky Boy’s Reservation are many more miles of cross-country skiing trails, as well as downhill skiing, and access to many more fishing holes. For more information, call the Beaver Creek Park at 395-4565.