Sixteen Wyoming counties are now designated as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. Governor Matt Mead requested these designations and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has signed off on the designation for 16 counties with 6 others qualifying for assistance because they are contiguous to the primary counties.

Governor Mead’s request is that all counties in Wyoming receive a drought disaster declaration, except for Teton County, which had not suffered grazing loss and dryland hay loss in excess of the disaster threshold. More Wyoming counties are likely to receive primary designation as federal officials review information related to the drought.

Governor Mead said,

“This drought is not letting up and disaster assistance is one way to provide help, Yesterday, I toured areas impacted by wildfires and it is clear that conditions in Wyoming are as dry as they have been in years.”

The federal drought disaster declaration makes agricultural operators eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency. The producer has to meet eligibility requirements and the assistance includes emergency loans. Local Farm Service Agency offices can provide more information to agriculture operators.

The counties that are presently designated as primary natural disaster areas due to drought are: Hot Springs, Laramie, Carbon, Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Sublette, Fremont, Albany, Converse, Platte, Goshen, Campbell, Crook, Niobrara and Weston.

Those that currently qualify as contiguous counties are: Natrona, Washakie, Park, Teton, Sheridan and Johnson.