Governor Kitzhaber declares drought emergency in Jackson County

, Posted: Wed, May 7 2014 at 11:32 AM, Updated: Wed, May 7 2014 at 3:55 PM

Governor Kitzhaber declares drought emergency in Jackson County

Salem, Ore. -- Yesterday Governor Kitzhaber declared a drought emergency in Jackson County. Officials say Jackson County requested the emergency declaration this spring, and the The State Drought Council considered the county's request by weighing current water conditions, future climatic forecasts, and agricultural impacts.

The Governor's drought declaration allows increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible. In addition, officials say the Governor is working with Oregon's federal delegation, state agencies, local governments, and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address drought-related issues.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated six Oregon counties as natural disaster areas due to drought. In two separate letters, including one delivered today, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that farmers in Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Harney and Lane counties are eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the Farm Service Agency.

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