Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Snowpack Monitoring

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For the first time in nearly a century, several snowpack monitoring sites in Colorado's mountains may be abandoned this winter due to federal budget cuts.

The Coloradoan reports that the Natural Resources Conservation Service announced in late October that it might eliminate 47 of its 72 Colorado "snow course" sites.

Since the early 1900s, the NRCS has kept records of snow depth and weight to help predict spring runoff. The estimates are used by reservoir managers, water conservation districts and farmers across the state.

Some of the Colorado monitoring sites that could be closed have records dating back to 1936.