Western experts gather for regional drought forum

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Experts from across the West are gathering in New Mexico to discuss the effects of drought on recreation and tourism.

The Western Governors' Association is putting on the two-day forum. Experts from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Oregon will be part of the discussion.

Gov. Susana Martinez planned to give the opening address Wednesday but her office said she was not feeling well and had to cancel her appearance.

Martinez knows firsthand what dry conditions can do to agriculture, economic development and even tourism since New Mexico is marching into its fifth straight year of what's expected to be severe drought.

In New Mexico, the lack of meaningful snowpack during the winter months and weak spring runoff has left the state's lakes and reservoirs in bad shape. Some boat ramps were forced to close in recent years.

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