As a result of the recent Coal Hollow and the Pole Creek fires we have discovered 62 individual burned and dead cattle. We have another 85 cattle presently unaccounted for, either wandering and lost or also dead with their decomposing bodies not yet discovered. We hope that some of the lost cattle might be found still alive.

Introduction by Editor

Last month, wildfires in northern central Utah devastated several ranchers whose herds were grazing on their summer leases in the mountains near the town of Spanish Fork. According to a report by KSL:

SPANISH FORK — Cattle ranchers in Spanish Fork suffered devastating losses to their livestock after the Pole Creek Fire swept through Sweat Creek Canyon. The fire killed more than 40 cows and calves — most of the animals died due to smoke inhalation while some burned where they stood.

Rancher Eldon Neves said he’s moved his cows multiple times this summer to avoid fires. He thought they would be safe grazing in the narrows of the canyon just off of U.S. Highway 6.

“There was just no place for them to go,” Neves said about the cows. “And this (fire) was burning while the other (fire) was burning. So we did the best we could.”

Eldon Neves first estimated that his losses would at least $250,000, and that figure has now risen to nearly $400,000, but repercussions from the horrific fires will be felt for years, and there’s probably no reasonable way to put a dollar sign on the destruction. In the wake of the wildfires, fundraisers have been held for the Spanish Fork ranchers, and Eldon Neves has created a Go Fund Me page that he hopes will aid his family and the other ranchers in the long recovery process.

The following information and photos from the Eldon Neves & Rancher’s Relief Fund Go Fund Me page have been posted with permission from the Neves Family.

Additional photos are also taken from the Facebook pages of Jared Neves and Rylee Lyon Hansen. If you want to help these ranching families, please give by clicking here.


ELDON NEVES & RANCHER’S RELIEF FUND

Hello! This is Eldon A. Neves, president and representative of the Lake Shore Cattlemen’s Association.
Our association represents six separate cattle grazing leases on the Manti Lasal Uintah National Forest with seventeen individual ranchers and families. Together we maintain a Forest lease for a total of 468 pair or 936 individual cattle in Lake Fork, Dairy Fork, Mill Fork, and in Blind Canyon. These are in the mountains surrounding Spanish Fork.

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Summer Fires

This summer the Coal Hollow fire and the later Pole Creek fire in South Utah Valley completely destroyed our Forest range and cool tree covered mountains. As a result of these fires our total losses from animal deaths, from our labor and vehicle expenses, increased feed expenditures, from infrastructure costs, and current and future loss of grazing are estimated to be $ 373,300.00.

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Forest Recovery

It is our hope that together with sympathetic friends we can raise $186,650.00 for the recovery of our burned and devastated Forest. We intend to use any monies that you contribute to help with the reconstruction of the trails, fences, and corrals, reconstruction and discovery of water sources, to help reseed forest meadows and trees, and other related expenses.
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Wildlife 

The two wildfires this summer have been extremely difficult for wildlife. Deer, elk, mountain lion, black bear, coyotes, and even the smaller forest creatures such as our squirrels and chipmunks and a vast variety of birds are all helped in their daily efforts to find food and water by our rancher maintained water troughs and forest. We need to get these resources back up and functioning again as soon as possible.

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We Are Good Stewards of Our Public Lands

We make every effort to keep our cattle from riparian areas by our water troughs and tanks and fenced springs and water sources. Our cattle help keep the grass and forbs healthy by judicious use during the correct season of the year. Under normal circumstances regular grazing helps discourage wild fires similar to those that so completely consumed us this summer.   
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Lost and Dead Cattle

As a result of the recent Coal Hollow and the Pole Creek fires we have discovered 62 individual burned and dead cattle. We have another 85 cattle presently unaccounted for, either wandering and lost or also dead with their decomposing bodies not yet discovered. We hope that some of the lost cattle might be found still alive.

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The following photos are from various Facebook posts about the Utah wildfires.

Photo Source: Jared Neves Facebook page
Photo Source: Jared Neves Facebook page
Photo Source: Jared Neves Facebook page
Photo Source: Rylee Lyon Hansen Facebook page–photo by David Hansen
Photo Source: Rylee Lyon Hansen Facebook page–photo by David Hansen
Photo Source: Rylee Lyon Hansen Facebook page–photo by David Hansen

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