Interactive Map Update – Two More Colorado Counties Designated for Drought Disaster

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Published Friday, June 15, 2018
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by Chris Sorensen

As intense drought continues to plague southern and western Colorado, two more counties have received designations as primary natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

This week, Elbert and El Paso counties were added to the list of designated counties. Primary counties now account for 33 of the state's 64 counties. Ten more counties are eligible for assistance as neighboring counties.

While the Small Business Administration is typically in lock-step with USDA drought designations, the agency has not yet announced its own designations for Elbert and El Paso.

Since December, drought conditions have been increasing across the state, with over one-third of Colorado in extreme or exceptional drought - the two worst categories.

As counties have been designated in groups since early March, varying eligibility dates have been created as neighboring counties received designations at different times. For example, a county surrounded by four other counties could become eligible up to five times: four if each of its neighbors receives a primary designation on different dates, and once for its own primary designation.

Further confusion arises when a county receives a primary designation, and a neighboring county is designated later. In most cases, the more recent date - whether primary or as an adjoining county - will determine the deadline for assistance applications. Applications are due eight months after the most recent designation date.

KiowaCountyPress.net has developed the interactive map below to help sort through designation and eligibility dates. Red shading indicates a county which has received a primary designation, while yellow shading indicates a Colorado county that neighbors a primary county. Counties in other states that share a border with a Colorado primary county are also eligible to apply for assistance. Counties shaded grey do not currently have a designation for drought. San Juan county is shaded blue since it received an SBA-only primary designation.

Additionally, the USDA has designated a number of Colorado counties eligible for disaster assistance due to blizzard, fire and high winds that occurred earlier in the year. Separate maps available hereshow those counties.

Information about USDA programs and links to applications are listed below the map, along with tables of eligibility dates.

USDA

Farm operators in designated counties (primary designation or as an adjoining county) who meet eligibility requirements can apply for the Farm Service Agency's emergency loans. Applications must be made within eight months of the date of the declaration. Loans help cover part of actual losses. Evaluation criteria includes

  • Extent of losses
  • Available security (collateral)
  • Repayment ability

See the fact sheet attached at the bottom of the is page for details.

Other non-disaster program that may provide assistance include

Contact the local USDA service center for details on eligibility and the application process. More information is also available at disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA Designation

County

Primary

Adjoining

Alamosa

25-May-18

 

Arapahoe

 

14-Jun-18

Archuleta

25-May-18

 

Baca

8-Mar-18

29-Mar-18

Bent

29-Mar-18

3-May-18

Chaffee

16-May-18

25-May-18

Cheyenne

3-May-18

 

Conejos

25-May-18

 

Costilla

10-May-18

25-May-18

Crowley

3-May-18

14-Jun-18

Custer

29-Mar-18

16-May-18

Delta

26-Apr-18

25-May-18

Dolores

10-May-18

 

Douglas

 

14-Jun-18

El Paso

14-Jun-18

 

Elbert

14-Jun-18

 

Fremont

16-May-18

14-Jun-18

Garfield

 

3-May-18

Gunnison

25-May-18

 

Hinsdale

25-May-18

 

Huerfano

29-Mar-18

25-May-18

Kiowa

3-May-18

 

Kit Carson

 

3-May-18

La Plata

10-May-18

25-May-18

Lake

 

16-May-18

Las Animas

15-Mar-18

10-May-18

Lincoln

3-May-18

14-Jun-18

Mesa

12-Apr-18

25-May-18

Mineral

25-May-18

 

Montezuma

10-May-18

 

Montrose

26-Apr-18

25-May-18

Otero

12-Apr-18

3-May-18

Ouray

10-May-18

25-May-18

Park

 

16-May-18

Pitkin

 

25-May-18

Prowers

29-Mar-18

3-May-18

Pueblo

3-May-18

14-Jun-18

Rio Grande

25-May-18

 

Saguache

10-May-18

25-May-18

San Juan *

 

25-May-18

San Miguel

10-May-18

 

Teller

 

14-Jun-18

Washington

 

3-May-18

* San Juan received an SBA-only primary