Colorado Launches Hay Lift To Save Cattle Stranded By Snow

US - The state launched a hay lift Tuesday to save thousands of cattle stranded in 10-foot snowdrifts dumped on southeastern Colorado by a blizzard that has paralyzed Plains life from the Oklahoma Panhandle to Nebraska. A similar storm in 1997 killed 30,000 cattle in Colorado alone.
calendar icon 3 January 2007
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Unable to paw through the snow to grass for several days, the livestock were in grave condition. "They're just going to lay over dead if we don't do something soon," said Don Ament, Colorado's agriculture director.

With some of its larger-capacity helicopters deployed to Iraq, the National Guard in Colorado scrambled to find the right equipment. A first flight of two small Huey helicopters took off Thursday morning.

Pilots headed for herds mapped the previous day by spotter planes, said Capt. Robert Bell, a Guard spokesman.

A blizzard that started late last week by shutting down Denver and surrounding communities blew east through the New Year's weekend, buffeting the Plains with heavy snow and wind. Whiteouts and drifting snow shut down all highway travel for days and stranding hundreds in their vehicles.

Source: Agriculture Online

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