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Cutbacks threaten snow surveys

Sky-Hi News staff
news@skyhidailynews.com

Due to budget constraints at the federal level, the Natural Resources Conservation Service is currently in the process of prioritizing its services and deciding which services could be downsized or cut from the program.

The Hot Sulphur Springs office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service recently received a letter notifying them that the Manual Snow Course Surveys may be one of those services downsized or cut from the 2014 budget.

Mark Volt of the conservation service conducts the Snow Surveys monthly throughout the winter and reports back to the public.

“We realize that data collected from these surveys is looked at and used by many people in our communities,” states a press release from the Conservation Service. “Many ranchers, for example, look at these data for insight into spring runoff and summer hay production potential. Winter snow pack may also determine cost effectiveness of seeding and fertilizer application. Winter and summer recreationists alike may also use this information to decide whether to go out for a back-country ski trip or if river flows are high enough for summer rafting excursions.”

The conservation service is asking for public input on the importance of Manual Snow Course Surveys.

Those who would like to voice an opinion should write to William Shoup at William.shoup@co.usda.gov.

Contact the Middle Park Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service at 970.724.3456 with questions, concerns, or comments.


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