Cows, Fences, and Fires

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 6:30pm


Gary Anderson

It’s only been three weeks since the last blog was posted and already things have changed so much. As August ended, the Henry’s Fork Foundation moved out of its small office at 512 Main and upgraded to a large, freshly refurbished office next to the library! This building used to be a hospital but was abandoned for several years before HFF bought it and completely remodeled it. Long before I joined the team there were crews of electricians, plumbers, drywallers, and painters getting things ready for us to move into the new offices. And it’s an even better change for the interns like me because now I have a space that I can sit down at and work on projects. Things were getting crowded over at the small office. And since we moved over to the new office, lots of members of the foundation and the community have come and asked for tours of the facilities. Many people have stories of things that happened in the hospital and remark about how different it looks now. Even my own mom told me that she and her siblings were born in that hospital. It’s kind of creepy to think that my own mother might have been born in my office….

Cows are getting out now. Not a lot and not very often, but since the first day the cows were brought into the pasture across from Last Chance, one or two have been getting out periodically. The fence that keeps the cows is over a mile long and it goes from Log Jam to Last Chance. Hunter Hill, the intern who had my position last year, did a great job of keeping this fence up and strong, and I’ve made sure that anything that falls now, goes right back up. There is, however, a part of the fence that butts up against the river and the cows are supposed to stay on one side where they can access the river and keep off the other side. But in low water they can get around the fence so I end up wading across the river and chasing them back around the fence onto their side.

The other problem that comes with my position is the occasional instance of a fisherman letting the fence down. Please encourage other anglers to help us maintain the fence line. The fence is there for a reason and we want it to stay up to keep the cows out.

This has been the summer of the fires. For the last couple of months, the sky has been filled with haze and the Tetons have been small smudges, barely visible in the distance. Some days even Ashton Hill is hard to see. The most recent fire started near Ririe while I was doing creel surveys in Sugar so I had a clear view of the large plumes of smoke that filled the sky. Honestly it was kind of scary. But since these fires are finally getting under control I can just enjoy the sunsets.