Crook County declares drought

Crook County, taking the first step to secure government aid for farmers and ranchers, has declared a drought emergency, the county announced Thursday.

The county also immediately asked Gov. John Kitzhaber for a state declaration, according to Michael Ryan, Crook County emergency manager. The state Drought Council meets March 4 to consider requests; Kitzhaber has already declared drought emergencies in Malheur, Harney, Lake and Klamath counties.

“Ochoco Reservoir was at 33 percent, and Prineville Reservoir at 64 percent with no real snow pack to count on to fill the lakes,” Ryan stated in a press release.

Farmers and ranchers have not seen such dry conditions since 1992, according to the drought declaration passed Wednesday by the Crook County Court.

—Bulletin staff report