May 28, 2012--Parts of NW Colorado now in extreme drought (Summit Voice)

After a couple of months with temperatures running 5 to 10 degrees above average and the snowpack at only 2 percent average for this time of year, parts of northwestern Colorado have been designated as being in extreme drought conditions. The drought is widespread throughout the interior West, according to the weekly report from the National Integrated Drought Information System. In response to conditions, Gov, John Hickenlooper has ordered expanded activation of the statewide drought mitigation and response plan. Counties in the Yampa, White, Colorado and Gunnison basins could see severe drought-related economic impacts, and other sectors of the state’s economy may also be affected if current weather trends continue, Hickenlooper wrote in a May 21 memo the heads all state government agencies. Based on Hickenlooper’s order, a drought task force will start to meet regularly and state departments will assign senior-level managers to coordinate the drought response. More information on Colorado’s drought plans are online at the Colorado Water Conservation Board website. According to the U.S. drought monitor, 96 percent of Colorado is experience some level of drought, with a dry bullseye in the northwest corner of the state covering most of Garfield and Rio Blanco counties, covering about 7 percent of the state

To view the full article, visit the Summit Voice. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango, Colorado.