In an effort to help the depressed economy in Rich County, the Utah Board of Business and Economic Development has approved a $35,000 grant and a $50,000 loan to Bear River Working Ranches to help start a working ranch for tourists.

Board member David Simmons said the $35,000 grant comes from the Community Economic Development Project Fund and the $50,000 loan is from the resettlement portion of the Industrial Assistance Fund.Simmons said Bear River Working Ranches consists of several family-owned cattle ranchers in Woodruff and Randolph who want to preserve the main buildings of the U.S. Forest Service's ranger station in Randolph where tourists can stay and enjoy the experience of a working ranch.

The ranchers plan to use the money to set up activities for tourists like range riding, fence repairing, trail riding, fishing, hunting, camping, cooking, cleaning and other ranch operations.

The Industrial Assistance Fund committee of the board said 20 jobs will be created by loaning the money, which may include the ranchers and/or their families.

Although the board unanimously approved the grant and loan, board members wanted to make certain jobs are created in the depressed county and the money doesn't go solely to the ranchers. If every needy rancher gets money in this fashion the fund would have to be much larger, one board member said.