WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and Climate Action Task Force, issued the following statement welcoming the news that Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces will be the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Southwest Regional "climate hub." The USDA announced today the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country.
"It's no surprise that southern New Mexico is one of the first regions to help launch this new initiative to develop innovative solutions for our farmers, ranchers, and landowners who are adjusting to extreme weather conditions. Our agriculture industry helps drive New Mexico's economy and has shaped our state's history. New Mexico has been in a drought for three years, and our farmers and ranchers face water shortages, wildfires, and warmer temperatures. Our local education and research institutions will play a key role in providing scientific information to help farmers and ranchers adapt to a changing climate.
"It's morally imperative that we embrace the challenge of reversing the effects of climate change and lead the world in innovation and clean energy, using science as our guide to making solid policy decisions."
Senators Heinrich and Tom Udall wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supporting the Jornada Experimental Range's application to be one of USDA regional hubs.
The new "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management. For more information, visit the USDA website: http://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/regional_hubs.htm.