Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
Amy Jewett Sampson
OWENS ASKS U.S. AGRICULTURE SECRETARY FOR DISASTER DECLARATION FOR DELTA, LOGAN, PHILLIPS, AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES
DENVER – Governor Bill Owens today in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman has asked that the following Colorado Counties be declared agricultural disaster areas due to drought and damaging freezes: Delta, Logan, Phillips and Washington.
"Due to extraordinary dry weather, which brought about the state’s high forest fire conditions, field crops and growth of grass on pastures throughout the state have been severely damaged," said Gov. Owens. "Devastating freezes have damaged crops and prolonged drought has damaged pastureland."
On May 12, freezing temperatures caused substantial damage to orchard crops in Delta County for the second year in a row and to wheat crops in Logan, Phillips and Washington counties. That same day, much of eastern Colorado’s winter wheat crop was hit by a freeze that damaged the crops at a critical development stage.
The Governor has asked for assistance from Secretary Glickman for Colorado’s farmers and ranchers who are struggling with these crop-damaging weather effects. If the USDA grants the disaster declaration, crop growers and livestock producers in these counties will have access to emergency loans and other USDA assistance provided they can demonstrate that the weather has reduced their production.
Furthermore, agricultural producers in many parts of the state report drought conditions that could lead to economic difficulty for Colorado’s livestock producers.
In response, the Governor has also requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture waive the requirement for a four-month history of reduced precipitation to allow counties in Colorado to submit requests for grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. This would provide relief to the state’s livestock producers by making some of the state’s two million CRP acres available for grazing.
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