The Pahvant Post has closely followed the Grass March Cowboy Express, and has posted at least four articles on that subject. In the last article we reported that Commissioner Grant Gerber had taken a spill along the way, but rode every day, finished the trip, and at the time thought he was feeling better. We were very saddened to learn that his condition had taken a drastic turn for the worse. According to articles published in the Elko Daily Free Press, Commissioner Gerber died on his way home from Washington, D.C.
ELKO — County Commissioner and longtime Elko attorney Grant Gerber died late Saturday night (10/25) from injuries suffered earlier this month on the Grass March/Cowboy Express.
His funeral is planned for Friday (10/31), which is Nevada Day.
“Dad passed last night at 11 p.m. surrounded by our family telling stories of his life and listening to his favorite songs,” said his son Travis Gerber. “He was an exceptional man, but we know his spirit lives on.”
Gerber and the horse he was riding fell on Oct. 7 while in Kansas. He suffered a head injury but went on to complete the coast-to-coast ride in protest of federal over-regulation of public land.
Gerber underwent surgery Thursday, at the University of Utah Hospital, on his way home from Washington, D.C., but bleeding continued.
“It’s a blessing that the family could be with him at this time,” Gerber’s son, Travis, said.
He suffered an injury on Oct. 7, after his horse, Gandhi, stumbled in Kansas during the Grass March/Cowboy Express, bringing Gerber down with it. In the fall, Gerber hit his head resulting in a concussion.
Gerber was examined at a St. Louis hospital and released with no signs of bleeding.
After the Grass March riders delivered petitions to Congress, Gerber’s head continued to ache. On the return trip, he checked in at a hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where doctors determined the commissioner had internal bleeding.
In order to be closer to home, he was allowed to travel to the University of Utah hospital.
Gerber’s condition remained the same after an operation.
Travis Gerber said they have appreciated an outpouring of support so far.
The Grass March/Cowboy Express movement, organized by Gerber, began as a response to the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to close grazing on many areas of the Argenta allotment, despite the ranchers owning half of the land and all of the water rights.
After an organized ride from Elko to Carson City, Gerber decided to ride across America to draw greater attention to the ranchers’ plight. A group of riders carried with them petitions demanding relief from federal overreach.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Dad is truly loved and missed by all,” Travis Gerber told the Free Press.
Gerber grew up in Elko County and contributed to many aspects of the community. He was elected to the county commission in 2012.
Grant had been an attorney in Elko for over 30 years. He received his Juris Doctorate from Tulsa University College of Law in 1978. Prior to law school in 1968 – 69 he served in Vietnam with the US Army. His last assignment was as a Captain with the Army Special Forces. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brigham Young University in 1972.
Grant was a member, serves on, or founded many national and community boards and nonprofit organizations. These organizations and non-profits include Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Lands Council, Blue Ribbon Coalition, Private Lands Conservancy, Wilderness Impact Research Foundation, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. He volunteered to serve on local nonprofit boards, including the Great Basin College Foundation’s planned giving committee and the Northeastern Nevada Museum Board, as well as the VFW Honor Guard. Gerber worked pro bono (at no charge) for community entities, such as the SnoBowl and the animal shelter.
Editor’s Note: Readers here in Utah may be interested to know that Commissioner Gerber and his family were active members of the LDS Church. Both he and his sons, two of whom were also attorneys, and partners in the Gerber Law Practice, had all received their undergraduate educations at BYU.