July 14, 2015

by

Brett managed cattle operations at Zapata Ranch from 2014-6.

In April the snow on the mountains was all but gone and the forecast showed no signs of rain throughout the month. Ranching in the valley is challenging enough with an annual rainfall average of 7 inches. We rely on snowmelt for our irrigation needs. April came and went without much of a change. Then May came.
If it wasn’t raining or snowing in the valley, it was coming down on the mountains. Soon water was flowing down to the ranch. Elk migrating to the mountains had diverted our attention to fence repair and the ditches had been placed on the backburner in light of a seemingly likely drought.
Water really started to flow in June and it hasn’t let up. We are having to divert into ditches that haven’t been needed in years. Our first priority is watering our trees. Cottonwoods take a tremendous amount of water and the drought has caused lots of damage, so it’s vital that they come first. The next priority is our grass. Water has been so abundant this year that I am getting water to all the trees and our grass.
It has made for quite the workload, but believe me I’m not complaining.