The Las Animas County Commissioners ask Governor Hickenlooper for drought designation

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Monster snowpack in the northern basins, southern basins not so much and D3 drought up and down the eastern plains. This water year is a study in contrasts. Here’s a report from Anthony A. Mestas writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

In a letter sent to Hickenlooper this week, the commissioners said the lower than normal precipitation along with high velocity winds have made for drought conditions that are severely impacting ranchers and farmers in the county. “The significantly reduced precipitation will decrease the growth of natural grasses thereby reducing grazing pastures and less water for irrigation causing a further decline in production of feed for cattle,” the letter states…

County Administrator Bill Cordova said the eastern portion of the county, where most of the ranching is, has been hurt the most by lack of precipitation. Cordova said if the governor declares a drought disaster, the issue will then go to state Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar. If Salazar is persuaded, then he would initiate a request for assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture for a federal drought disaster declaration for the county. “The USDA has the final say,” Cordova said.

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