Bozeman, Mont. -

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is reducing the number of manual snow survey sites it uses to measure snowpack and forecast water supply.
The agency says the reduction in sites starting with the 2013 water year will increase efficiency and reduce costs.
NRCS is reducing from 134 to 95 the number of sites where manual snowpack measures will be taken. It also has 95 automated SNOTEL, or snowpack telemetry measuring sites that will help the agency measure snowpack and predict streamflows.