Lethbridge County is a beautiful place to call home. The golden wheat fields and impressive coulees offer incredible views to those who are fortunate enough to reside here. Rural living comes with many benefits, but also some challenges compared to an urban setting. We have compiled some information to guide you through the ins and outs of living in Lethbridge County.
1. Agriculture is a major part of the local economy and industry. Lethbridge County has a large concentration of farms and livestock operations. Spring and summer bring calving and harvest, which may create more noise and activity (as well as odours) within the County. It is important to be aware of this and be prepared to adjust your daily activities if necessary. For example, large (and slow-moving) farming machinery will likely be on the roads during these times. Drive with caution and patience.
2. Herbicides are used within Lethbridge County. Controlling invasive weeds is a priority for farmers, who may apply herbicide either on the ground or from the air.
3. Know your property. Certain weeds and plants are considered invasive, or are harmful (even poisonous) to other plant life and animals. Lethbridge County enforces the Weed Control Act which requires landowners to control harmful weeds on their property. If you have questions about the Act or your responsibilities, please call the County’s Agricultural Services Department at (403) 328-5525.
4. Be mindful of livestock and wildlife. All animals, whether on a farm or not, can be dangerous. Do not feed wildlife and do not approach farm animals unless you have permission to do so from the property owner.
5. Emergency response services are primarily volunteer-based. Response times for emergency services cannot be guaranteed in Lethbridge County. Under some conditions you may find that emergency service response times are slower due to circumstances beyond the control of the provider. Travel distances, road and weather conditions, emergency call volumes and the availability of emergency service personnel can all affect emergency response times.
6. Mother Nature is unpredictable and affects rural landowners much differently than those who live in the city. In some situations, you may not be able to leave or enter your property due to snowstorms, fires, or floods. It is important to be aware of the potentials risks your property has and to be prepared for these situations. It is also advisable that you acquire any supplies or equipment that will assist you in a storm or natural disaster. For example: during periods of heavy snowfall you may find that your access road is impassable. The County has over 2,000km of roads, and provides snow clearing to priority roads first during a snow event. These roads include haul routes and school bus routes. Your road may not be cleared for several days so it is advisable that you have a vehicle that has four-wheel drive.
7. Permits are required for development, fireworks, burning, road use agreements, etc. Our website has application forms for residents. Find them here: Application Forms
8. Be a good neighbour:
a. Drive with care on gravel roads. Dust is generated from excessive speed, which can affect the tranquility and health of your neighbours. Speeding and sudden breaking and accelerating can also affect the structural integrity of the gravel roads.
b. Keep an eye on your pets. Make sure your furry friends are allowed to roam only on your property. Many animals are injured or killed when they run onto roads, and animals found harassing livestock may be reported to Animal Control. Lethbridge County also has a Dog Control Bylaw which outlines regulations residents must comply with. View the Bylaw here: Bylaw # 1405
c. Know where your livestock are. It is your responsibility to keep your livestock contained within your property. Animals that escape from farms and ranches pose a hazard to drivers, other animals, and residents.