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AN EMERGENCY DROUGHT DECLARED IN SAN JUAN

San Juan County commissioners Monday approved a local emergency drought declaration because of precipitation that is only 36 percent of normal since last October.

Commissioner Ty Lewis has announced the formation of a County Drought Disaster Committee, which will examine all potential aid available to San Juan.Commissioners are also planning on discussing the drought with state leaders. They are most concerned about the lack of moisture's affect on the agricultural community.

The Department of Agriculture is preparing to assist the county in the preparation of disaster form applications this week, as well as provide county livestock owners with a list of potential grazing areas elsewhere in the state. The current county drought has caused a record low price for cattle, coupled with record high prices for feed.

In the past seven months, Monticello has received only 2.17 inches of moisture, compared to the average 7.3 inches. Lewis is also worried about the potential of fires in the back country if additional rain doesn't fall.