WASHINGTON (June 15, 2022) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (DN.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (DN.M.) and Melanie Stansbury (DN.M.) are welcoming the announcement that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will cover 100% of the costs through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) for the removal of debris and other measures to address watershed deficiencies in designated areas of New Mexico affected by recent wildfires. The EWP is a recovery effort aimed at relieving imminent risks to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters. Waiver to cover 100% of costs is available in the following areas: Cooks Peak Fire in Colfax County; Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire in Mora and San Miguel counties; McBride Fire in Lincoln County; and Nogal Fire in Lincoln County.

“New Mexicans have learned all too well over the past decade that some of the hardest work to recover from wildfires happens after they are extinguished. We are seeing the costly consequences of the climate crisis and these record fires have on our communities, our This is why I am pleased to see the USDA acting on my request to cover costs that will help rebuild our communities and prepare for flooding,” said Heinrich.

“As New Mexico continues to battle historic wildfires, it is critical that our communities be prepared for the flooding that is common after a fire. Today, I am pleased that the USDA has answered my call to cover the cost-sharing requirement for the Emergency Watershed Program that will help New Mexico landowners make critical repairs, clean up debris and protect against flooding,” Lujan said. “There is still work to be done to help New Mexicans recover from these devastating fires, and I continue to fight to pass my Hermit’s Peak Fire Assistance Act to bolster federal assistance to families and businesses across the country. New Mexico.”

“I’ve been to burn scars, heard directly from owners and consulted acequia parciantes. The monsoon season brings a new threat – catastrophic flooding in the burn scar,” said Léger Fernandez. “The federal government must take responsibility for the destruction that the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire has inflicted on our communities. As I told President Biden, the fire has destroyed many private ranches and farms, and these communities do not have the funds to pay for work to protect their homes and property from erosion and floods. Today’s announcement will save these communities millions of dollars and it’s the right thing to do. The job needs to be done as soon as possible and I will continue to push for it to happen.

“We were deeply honored to welcome President Biden to New Mexico this week, and I am grateful for his administration’s prompt response to the devastating New Mexico wildfires in light of the federal government‘s special responsibility to make our state whole again”, said Stansbury. “As our firefighters battle these unprecedented wildfires, we must protect our precious water resources and prevent flooding. Today’s announcement that the USDA will send vital infrastructure funds to New Mexico for watershed restoration will help our state send much-needed funds to urgently needed watershed protection work on the ground.

The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), a federal emergency recovery program, helps local communities recover after a natural disaster. The program provides technical and financial assistance to help local communities mitigate imminent threats to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural disasters that alter a watershed.
New Mexico congressional Democrats also recently welcomed President Joe Biden’s announcement while in New Mexico that the federal government would waive the 25% non-federal cost-sharing for Class A and Class B in as part of the major disaster declaration aid it endorsed in its wake. severe forest fires. The New Mexico congressional delegation requested this cost-sharing waiver on May 4.













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