The Seelhof family of Woodjam Ranch in Horsefly is the recipient of the 2020 Ranch Sustainability Award from the BC Cattlemen’s Association, presented July 7 via an online ceremony.
“Receiving this award means a lot to us,” says Chad Seelhof, noting the importance of the ranching community supporting one another. “It’s nice to know that somebody else thinks you are doing a good job out there besides yourself.”
Judy Madden, chair the association’s environmental stewardship committee, said the award evaluation panel selected this family for its multi-generational commitment, best management practices with respect to the protection of both range lands and riparian areas and its extensive work with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to protect the waterways surrounding the ranch.
The last point is particularly important for the three-generation family. Its 2,100 deeded acres border the Horsefly River, a key sockeye salmon spawning ground fed by 16 tributary creeks that are also provide important fish habitat.
The Seelhofs have also restored and fenced off riparian areas and installed off-stream watering devices. Their intensive rotational grazing practices and use of wildlife-friendly fencing is also regarded as a model for other ranches.
The practices add up to not only good stewardship of the land, but a good reputation with the public.
“Public perception is very important and as ranchers we all have to do our part if we want to be able to market our product to an ever-changing society,” says Seelhof.