Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

County Commissioners Ask State For Drought Declaration

By Jayson Jacoby


Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett is looking at the mountains near his ranch and what he sees is trouble.

Or rather, what he doesn't see.


"I'm standing here, looking at Bullrun Mountain, and there's only a few patches of snow," Bennett said Thursday afternoon, talking by cell phone from his property east of Unity.

"And that's almost 8,000 feet."

7,879 feet, according to the cartographers' latest reckoning.

But Bennett's point isn't about elevation so much as timing.

"That's not what you want to look at in March," he said. "The mountains are our reservoirs in Baker County, and there's just nothing there."

Not enough to make up for the scanty snowpacks the past two winters, certainly.

Little wonder, then, that Bennett joined fellow commissioners Tim L. Kerns and Chairman Bill Harvey on Wednesday in asking Gov. Kate Brown to declare a drought emergency in Baker County.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald.