Task Force organizing hay donation deliveries to fire-affected families and business

SALEM, OREGON – AUGUST 10, 2012 – RESTOR, a newly created task force within the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association formed to direct attention to the growing problems created by wildfires in the state, met with Rep Greg Walden (R-OR) yesterday to provide an update on the southeast Oregon wildfires and to discuss various options for federal relief for affected families, business, and communities.

Rep Walden’s efforts to extend lapsed disaster relief for ranchers by extending key elements of the 2008 Farm Bill that expired in 2011are supporting the needs expressed at community meetings facilitated by RESTOR. If extended, disaster assistance programs including Livestock Indemnity Payments (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Programs (LFP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock (ELAP) would provide financial relief for losses incurred from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 as a result of disaster, adverse weather, or other environmental circumstances. RESTOR plans similar meetings with Oregon’s Senators Merkley and Wyden.

Curtis Martin, President of the OCA said “We sincerely appreciate the tireless effort of our Congressional delegation to provide relief for our ranching community and will pledge our support to get this critical legislation to the President’s desk.”

The conversation was timely given Oregon’s latest large rangeland fire, the Holloway Fire, which is burning on the Oregon-Nevada board near Denio. The fire has reportedly grown to more than 123,000 acres resulting in the loss of large tracks of high desert habitat very important to wildlife and livestock operations.

Donation Deliveries

In other activities, RESTOR worked to directly contact all fire-affected individuals to again ask if other types of immediate assistance are needed or if they have identified extended term needs. As part of this outreach, RESTOR has facilitated deliveries of hay and donated trucking to those operations most significantly impacted by the Long Draw and Miller Homestead fires. Four hundred tons of hay will be delivered to affected operations in Jordan Valley and Frenchglen on Wednesday, August 15.

Colby Marshall, RESTOR Task Force chairman said “We welcome the opportunity to partner with many generous individuals and business to provide assistance to affected families and the important business that make up Oregon’s livestock communities. Assuring this assistance gets to those impacted is a top priority of RESTOR.”

Charitable donations of cash or in-kind contributions (including hay, supplies, transportation, and livestock relocation options) are being accepted online, via phone, or in person at the OCA office. To make a charitable contribution to the Fire Victims Relief Fund, or to offer in-kind or relocation assistance, please contact Kay Teisl, Executive Director of OCA, at 503-361-8941 or via email kayteisl@orcattle.com.