Snow won’t relieve drought conditions

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DETROIT LAKES — With all the snow in parts of Minnesota, it seems surreal to think more than 80 percent of the state is in a severe or extreme drought.

Climatologists said that most of the snow will run off into rivers and lakes next spring because of the frozen ground, which doesn’t do much for the dry soil.

Department of Natural Resources experts said the drought is affecting Minnesota’s wildlife. In a state wildlife management area near Detroit Lakes, a beaver lodge is empty because water levels have dropped significantly. Wildlife supervisor Blane Kelmek said the family of beavers probably moved to a larger pond or lake, making them vulnerable to predators.

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The drought conditions have also reduced food sources for many animals, including black bears.