Drought affecting wildlife in Southwest

spectr17

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Ranchers, scientists issue plea for help with wildlife

The Associated Press

April 4, 2002

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Ranchers, researchers and environmentalists are asking the public to help northern Arizona wildlife survive as drought conditions worsen.

In a letter sent out to hundreds of Flagstaff residents, the Diablo Trust - a group that includes ranchers, scientists and others - reminds people that the public helped in 1996 as area ranches hauled millions of gallons of water to wildlife and livestock.

"You provided funds for diesel fuel and truck tires. You assisted in the building of temporary fences to help prevent wildlife death in boggy water holes, and you hauled drinker tanks to various locations," the letter said. "We need your help again this year."
Most Flagstaff residents may not have become fully aware of the drought's effects yet. But the drought is undeniable for the ranchers who spend every day out in the arid areas.

"There's no real way to describe it. You just know," said Kit Metzger, a Flagstaff rancher. "It's way less green. The rains ... never even capped the soil. There are tracks out there 4 or 5 months old and they look like they were just made."

She said wildlife and livestock have done well so far. The real crunch will come when the weak buds of a dry winter have all been pushed out - and eaten - and the last rain puddles dry up.

"March and April is when this area literally bottoms out," Metzger said.
 

Dakota

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We didn't get squat for rain in my area this year.  It is gonna be an awful tough year for the critters I expect.:frown-blue:
 
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