Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
USDA declaration opens door for emergency aid
FRISCO — While spring snow and rain have slightly eased Colorado water woes, the situation is more serious in the northwestern part of the state, where three large rural counties have been designated as a contiguous disaster areas due to drought.
Senator Michael Bennet announced the designation today, saying that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declaration makes farm operators in thise counties eligible to be considered for federal assistance, including Farm Service Agency emergency loans.
“Producers on Colorado’s western slope have faced drought conditions that are damaging their goods and hurting local economies,” Bennet said. “These disaster designations will allow farmers and ranchers to access critical assistance to help them deal with any losses to crops or livestock.”
Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers and ranchers with additional information.
The drought declaration came after a winter of well-below normal snowfall and near-record warmth in the region.
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Colorado, Drought | Tagged: climate, Colorado, drought, snowpack, USDA, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Groups want top federal officials to be more upfront about global warming
Drought is devastating a wide swath of U.S. farmlands.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Environmental activists want top federal officials to directly address the possible connections between climate change and the current drought that’s crushing the life out of U.S. heartland, with potential implications for global food supplies.
Specifically, Forecast the Facts and FoodDemocracyNow! want Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to directly address the massive implications of manmade climate change for our entire farming sector. Scientists are clear that climate change is already leading to more extreme weather, such as longer and more severe droughts, according to Daniel Souweine, campaign director for Forecast the Facts. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, climate, climate change, drought, global warming, Tom Vilsack, United States, USDA | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 19, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
An amendment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriations bill will ban a proposed limit on starchy vegetables in federally funded school lunches. PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA AND THE CREATIVE COMMONS.
Colorado senator blocks USDA rules that would have limited starchy foods in federally funded school lunch programs
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Children everywhere are breathing a deep sigh of relief, after Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), passed legislation ensuring that school cafeterias will continue to be a safe haven for tater tots for the foreseeable future.
An amendment to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill co-sponsored by the two lawmakers would prevent the department from implementing new rules aimed at stemming the rising tide of childhood obesity. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, federal government, Food, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Center for Science in the Public Interest, food, Mark Udall, nutrition, school lunch program, Summit County News, Tater Tots, USDA | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 7, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Sen. Mark Udall is asking the Forest Service to change some existing timber contracts to give relief to Colorado's struggling sawmills.
Democratic senator says continued operation of wood processing plants critical in ongoing efforts to clear beetle-killed trees from forests around the state
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s struggling timber mills are getting some high-level help from Sen. Mark Udall, who is urging the U.S. Forest Service to modify several timber contracts that are putting financial pressure on the mills.
Udall wants the the Forest Service to rework the timber sale contracts with the sawmills. In addition to employing hundreds of Coloradans, the mills play a crucial role in the fight against the bark beetle and wildfire by providing the infrastructure to help clear 4 million acres of hazardous fuels and beetle-killed trees and processing them into wood products, the senator said in a press release.
The downturn in the housing market and the state’s forest-management economy led to financial trouble for the mills: Intermountain Resources (Montrose), Mountain Valley Lumber (Saguache) and Delta Timber (Delta). Basically, they are losing money on older timber sales, with rates that are higher than what it costs to remove the dead trees from the forest. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, business, climate and weather, Colorado, economy, Environment, forest fires, Forest health, forests, global warming, pine beetles, pine beetles and wildfires, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Colorado, Colorado sawmills, Delta Timber, Forest health, Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell, Intermountain Resources, Mark Udall, Mountain pine beetle, Mountain Valley Lumber, pine beetles, Sen. Mark Udall, Summit County News, United States, United States Forest Service, US Forest Service, USDA | Leave a comment »