August 17, 2012. Salem, Oregon – The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, as a part of the RESTOR Task Force, made emergency deliveries of nearly 500 tons of donated hay on Wednesday, August 15 to fire affected families in Eastern Oregon. This hay will assist in caring for their livestock after the devastating fires destroyed feed sources on ranch and grazing land.

17 semi trucks were donated to make this delivery possible and traveled over 5,150 miles. The emergency hay delivery will provide immediate ‘meals’ for cattle but only in the short-term.

Curtis Martin, OCA President, stated, “This week, we were part of a remarkable outpouring of support for the ranching community affected by the devastation of wildfires in Southeast Oregon. This support is critical right now as ranchers affected are trying to keep their livestock fed and their business operations viable long enough to asses the impact the fires have had to the land, to feed sources, to water and to livestock and wildlife habitats.”

The trucking community and the other members of the RESTOR Task Force provided support for the delivery of emergency hay. Governor Kitzhaber’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, Brett Brownscombe, was on hand to witness the operation.

Colby Marshall, Chair of the RESTOR Task Force, commented, “This week’s effort was a critical step in helping ranchers keep their operations feasible while they assess the damage caused by this summer’s wildfires. But this is only a small piece of emergency assistance and the real work of wildfire recovery for these landowners has just begun. The impacts of this devastation will be felt for months and years to come. The support of policymakers, state agencies, industry and conservation groups, rancher/business owners and the public will be needed to help restore the land, improve habitat for wildlife and insure continued positive economic impact of the ranching industry. Working together we can learn from these wildfires and make progress to improve future responses.”

Fast Facts:

  • 500 tons of donated hay for cattle
  • 17 semi trucks donated for delivery to fire affected ranchers
  • Market value of hauling services per ton of hay: $30
  • Per truck donation = $900
  • Total donation value of hauling services: $15,300
  • Video clips are available upon request

As wildfires continue to burn across the state, charitable donations of cash or in-kind contributions (including hay, supplies, transportation, and livestock relocation options) are needed and 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.