Drought and Public Lands Grazing

On April 26, 2004, Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) circulated a letter in Congress expressing his concern about the effects of drought on public lands grazing permittees and lessees in the West. He urged his colleagues to cosponsor the voluntary grazing permit buyout legislation pending in Congress as a way to aid ranchers in need.

Factsheet: Beef Production and Persistent Drought

United States Drought Monitor

United States Seasonal Drought Outlook

Precipitation Trends in the West (charts)

The New York Times on Drought

Photographs of the Drought

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  • Kirk Johnson and Dean E. Murphy. Drought settles in, lake shrinks and West's worries grow. New York Times (May 2, 2004).

    New York Times, Editorial: The Arid West (May 2, 2004).

    CNN: Western drought worst in 500 years

    The U.S. Geological Survey drought report highlighted in the CNN news item linked above was inexplicably removed from the USGS website soon after the media reported on the authors' findings (the USGS website states that the report was "removed from the Internet while the authors conduct further scientific review"). A copy of the original report is linked here.

    Piechota, T., J. Timilsena, G. Tootle, H. Hidalgo. 2004. The Western U.S. drought: how bad is it? EOS 85(32): 301-308.

    "Historical stream flow records and the forecast for 2004 make the current (1999–2004) drought in the southwestern United States the worst one in the past 80 years for portions of the Upper Colorado River Basin."

    Miller, S. Drought crimps grazing on federal lands. Rapid City Journal (Apr. 17, 2005).

    AP: Tree-ring study considers global warming, drought link

    Boxall, B. (LA Times). Wildfires linked to global warming. Arizona Republic (Nov. 7, 2004): A12.

    Miniclier, K. Colorado ranches in dire straits as record drought continues. Denver Post (Feb. 9, 2003).