Abundant snow won't relieve drought conditions

10:48 AM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
  • DNR area wildlife supervisor Blane Klemek points to the entrance of an abandoned beaver lodge in a pond northeast of Detroit Lakes. The frozen shores of the pond have receded because of the drought. Klemek said it is likely the beavers migrated to a pond or lake that has more water. (MPR Photo/Tom Robertson)
    
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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - 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 say 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 say 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 tells Minnesota Public Radio News the family of beavers probably moved to a larger pond or lake, making them vulnerable to predators.

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

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