February 05, 2014

Udall: Jornada 'Climate Hub' will Help N.M. Farmers and Ranchers Adapt to Climate Changes

Hub will provide tools to help farmers, agriculture jobs and the economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on President Obama's decision to name the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, N.M., the U.S. Department of Agriculture Southwest "climate hub." As a climate hub, it will provide information to rural communities in New Mexico, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona about the impacts of climate change. Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in October in support of the Jornada Experimental Range's application.

"Difficult conditions are nothing new to New Mexico farmers and ranchers, who have have always needed to adapt and innovate to stay ahead. But in the last several years, drought, intensified by our changing climate, has increased the challenges. The Jornada Experimental Range has helped keep our rangeland healthy for the last century by supplying the latest research and information. It's a natural location for the Southwest climate hub, where it will be a source for cutting-edge resources and technology to help New Mexico and Southwestern farmers and ranchers access the tools they need to manage risks and adapt to the increasingly shifting and changing climate.

"This is an important step, but it's critical that we continue to take action. Climate change isn't just an environmental issue, it's a threat to our economy, to jobs and the way of life for New Mexico families - especially those whose livelihoods depend on the land and limited water supply. It's why I'm continuing to advocate for strategies to help New Mexico adapt to water scarcity and the ongoing drought. And it's why I'm going to keep pushing for a ‘do it all, do it right' energy policy that emphasizes domestic energy development, including solar, wind and biofuels, that will help create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas pollution."