Governor declares drought emergency
Governor declares drought emergency.
Drought conditions in South Dakota have prompted Gov.
Dennis Daugaard to issue an emergency declaration which eases hay and transportation restrictions.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation has suspended mowing operations along those ditches until July 5 in order to give farmers access.
The declaration isn’t likely to affect the state’s pheasant population, said Travis Runia senior upland game biologist for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department.
The mowing restriction was created as an effort to give pheasants more places to nest.
Runia said pheasants do indeed nest in highway ditches.
Still, compliance with the restrictions hasn’t been all that great and state highway ditches don’t amount to all that many acres of land, Runia said, so the impact of mowing the ditches likely won’t be too big when it comes to pheasants.
The drought conditions affecting ranchers are much more likely to cause a problem.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows about 80 percent of the state being either abnormally dry or in some stage of drought, up just slightly from last week.