2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • El Paso County downgraded to “moderate” drought

    Thu, August 29, 2013 by Ryan Handy with no comments

    El Paso County has been downgraded to “moderate” drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday. Of course, a drought is still a drought, regardless of how severe.

    And although the July and August monsoon season relieved much of the severe drought throughout Colorado, on Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded disaster designations for seven more Colorado counties where drought has seriously impacted farmers. A primary disaster declaration was awarded to Eagle County, which makes nearby counties eligible for federal aid. Farmers in Lake,  and Summitt counties are now eligible for for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

    Farmers have eight months from the date of declaration to apply for an assistance loan. Local FSA offices can provide more information.

    The counties join several others which have already been declared primary or contiguous drought disaster zones.

    Primary counties: Alamosa, Conejos, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Jackson, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Eagle, Routt and Saguache.

    Contiguous counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costilla, Custer, Denver, Douglas, Fremont, Gilpin, Grand, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Larimer, Mineral, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, San Miguel and Teller.

    Click here to take a look at the U.S. Drought Monitor.

     

     

    Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide farmers and ranchers with additional information.

     

     

    Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Eagle County as a primary natural disaster area due to recent drought conditions. The designation also triggered contiguous disaster designations for Garfield, Grand, Lake, Pitkin, Routt, and Summit counties. USDA disaster designations make farmers and ranchers eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

     

    “Colorado’s farmers and ranchers continue to face one of the worst droughts in decades,” Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said. “These disaster designations will provide critical assistance to producers to help offset their losses and continue to weather the dry conditions. It also serves as a stark reminder that Congress cannot wait any longer to pass a long-term Farm Bill that continue to make this type of aid available to producers and allow farmers and ranchers to plan for the future.”

     

    Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide farmers and ranchers with additional information.

     

  • All that rain must be helping, right?

    Tue, July 30, 2013 by Ryan Handy with no comments

    The answer is: No, not really.

    The weekly U.S. Drought monitor report from the National Weather Service, released every Thursday, shows El Paso County still the red and the orange. That’s red for “extreme” and “exceptional” drought, and orange for “severe” drought. Southeastern and southwestern Colorado are still heavily impacted by drought, despite the monsoonal rains.

    drought monitor

    Take a closer look at El Paso County:

    drought monitor 2

  • Teller one of 38 counties that qualify for disaster drought aid

    Wed, July 3, 2013 by Ryan Handy with no comments

    Teller County is one of the 38 counties across Colorado to quality for federal disaster relief loans to farmers to help ease the impact of the state’s persistent drought, according to a news release from Gov. John Hickenlooper.

    Fourteen counties were declared natural disaster areas because of recent drought; an additional 24 counties, Teller among them, are contiguous disaster counties.

    Included in the disaster relief are Farm Service Agency emergency loans, for which farmers in the 38 counties can apply. Farmers have eight months to file applications for assistance. Factors to be considered are the extent of a farmer’s production losses due to drought, security available and repayment ability.

    Questions about the loan applications should be directed to local Farm Service Agency offices.

    The complete list of affected counties:

    Primary counties: Alamosa, Conejos, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Jackson, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt and Saguache.

    Contiguous counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costilla, Custer, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, Fremont, Gilpin, Grand, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Larimer, Mineral, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, San Miguel and Teller.

     

     

  • We’re still in a drought. What’s new?

    Thu, May 16, 2013 by Ryan Handy with no comments

    Every Thursday, the National Drought Mitigation Center (yes, it exists) issues a nationwide drought wrap-up. And…El Paso County is still in the red.

    Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 3.12.48 PM

    Today’s drought prognosis is still pretty grim for  the rest Colorado, although much of the state benefited from two weeks of recent rains. But, southeastern Colorado including El Paso County, are turning out to be problem zones.

    El Paso County is on the fringes of the red zone–which means most of the county is in an extreme drought, the second-to-worst level.

    (In case you’re not sure which county is El Paso, this should help you out.)

    Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 3.15.40 PM

       Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 3.16.34 PM