BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota won’t be getting the presidential major disaster declaration it had sought for this summer’s drought.
Gov. Doug Burgum lobbied hard for the declaration, which could have unlocked direct disaster payments to farmers and ranchers. He first made it in August, and also asked President Donald Trump directly last month when the president made an appearance at an oil refinery in Mandan.
But Burgum’s office announced Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had denied the request. FEMA Administrator Brock Long wrote that direct assistance is “not appropriate” for the drought.
Long also wrote that relief was available through other federal programs and sources.
Burgum says he knew the request was a long shot, especially as hurricanes and wildfires have meant new demands for federal aid.