Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Friday, September 1, 2000
Amy Jewett Sampson
OWENS REQUESTS ADDITIONAL 10 COUNTY
DISASTER DECLARATION FROM USDA
Governor asks the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for disaster status for Alamosa, Costilla, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Mineral, Rio Grande, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Saguache
DENVER – Governor Bill Owens has asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman for agricultural disaster status in 10 Colorado counties that have been severely affected by the state’s ongoing drought and damaging freezes: Alamosa, Costilla, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Mineral, Rio Grande, Rio Blanco, and Saguache.
"Farmers and ranchers across the state have seen their crops and pastures withered by intense drought and damaged from a late Spring freeze," said Gov. Owens. "A severe hailstorm also damaged our anticipated grain and hay yields in parts of the Western Slope. Colorado’s agricultural industry is in dire need of relief and assistance."
On June 19th, a severe hailstorm damaged grain and hay production in Rio Blanco County. Prior to that, freezing temperatures in May caused substantial damage to agricultural crops in many counties throughout the state. Additionally, prolonged drought in Colorado has also damaged pastureland resulting in substantially reduced forage for livestock.
If the USDA designates these areas disaster-impacted counties, producers will be eligible for the Emergency Loan Program and other USDA assistance. Farmers and ranchers in the impacted areas would then need to go to their local USDA Farm Service Agency to apply for funds.
To date, Governor Owens has asked the USDA for a disaster declaration for a total of 29 counties, including these 10 most recent counties, in Colorado. Federal disaster designation has been granted to eight counties: Delta, Logan, Phillips, Washington, Moffat, Kiowa, Sedgwick, and Larimer Counties. Counties that are in the final stages of receiving USDA action include: Morgan, Montezuma, Archuleta, Dolores, Conejos, Eagle, Garfield, La Plata, Pueblo, and San Miguel. Boulder was denied approval due to lack of documented damage in the county.
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