Dry, Dry, and Almost Noth'n But Cow Pies

Written by Rob Spangler
Friday, May 10, 2013

Rob SpanglerWe’ve just finished stratum 44, and cow pie numbers are up and duck numbers are down. As ground crew leader Pam Garrettson already mentioned in her first report, water is scarce this year with drought conditions continuing this spring. Conditions in western South Dakota are poor at best. Many streams are dry, with a few puddles and basins holding about 0 to 30% of their capacity. Ponds that are holding water have very little vegetation for nesting cover, either because the moisture is not there or the vegetation has been grazed and trampled. We predict a bust year for stratum 44.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates the poor conditions observed by the crew in western South Dakota.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates the poor conditions observed by the crew in western South Dakota. Screenshot by Rob Spangler, USFWS, taken from http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_highplains.htm