Several ranchers along the northern and eastern edges of Lake Berryessa were suddenly left without any forage after the Rumsey fire scorched thousands of acres of rangeland in mid-October. In an effort to provide partial relief to these ranchers until winter rains bring new forage, the University of California Cooperative Extension offices in Yolo and Solano counties are organizing a hay donation program.

Many ranchers in this remote part of Napa County maintain their cattle on these rangelands year-round. To stretch the winter and spring forage growth through the dry summer and fall months, the ranchers usually leave enough standing forage to last until winter rains bring new forage growth. After surveying the burned area, UCCE Livestock Advisor Morgan Doran saw that some ranchers lost nearly 100 percent of their remaining forage while others lost upwards of 50 percent.

If you have any hay that you would like to donate for this cause please call either the Yolo County UCCE office at (530) 666-8143 or the Solano County UCCE office at (707) 435-2801. Please leave your name, telephone number, the amount and type of hay you can donate, and where the hay is located.

The Cooperative Extension office will provide a list of hay donors to those ranchers in need. The Cooperative Extension office will also verify that the hay recipients actually suffered losses due to the Rumsey fire to ensure that the donated hay is going to the desired cause. Transportation arrangements can then be arranged between the donor and the recipient.

If you are a rancher who has suffered forage losses in the Rumsey fire and have not been contacted by UCCE, you can call the same UCCE office telephone numbers to add your name to a list of potential hay recipients.

For more information contact Morgan Doran at (707) 435-2459.