In North Dakota, blizzard presents a challenge but not a crisis for cattle, wildlife

TRAVIS SVIHOVEC Bismarck Tribune

The record-setting blizzard in North Dakota earlier this month may stress wildlife and cattle, but to what degree depends partly on what Mother Nature has to offer for the rest of the season.

“The real question is, if it’s 8 or 20 inches (of snow), is it going to stay?” said Casey Anderson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife chief.

The single-day storm dropped 2 feet or more of snow over parts of western and central North Dakota, with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour. The 17.1 inches of snow that fell in Bismarck smashed a city record for Nov. 10. Frigid arctic air blasted into the region as the storm moved out and has lingered this week, with temperatures 20-30 degrees below normal for this time of year and wind chills well below zero.

For animals who live outdoors, the severe weather this early in the season presents a challenge but not a crisis. That could come later, depending on the length and severity of the season.

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