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Drought on the Olympic Mountain Range

It's an interesting time to be starting an orchard on the Olympic Peninsula. We took this photo yesterday from nearby Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Notice what's missing? Snow capped mountains. The only visible snow on the mountain range is a few small specs to the left. This means that the Dungeness River and McDonnell Creek, which provide water to our orchard and nine types of salmon and trout, are running dangerously low. Typically, irrigation water through the irrigation district runs May through September, and drought years like the current one are largely unprecedented. We anticipate that when Dungeness River water flow falls below 60 cubic feet per second (cfs), our irrigation water via the Agnew Irrigation District will be shut off to allow enough flow for the fish. Currently,, cfs is around 127 and dropping.

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