Farm Disaster Assistance & New Wildfire Protection Strategy

Farm Disaster Assistance & New Wildfire Protection Strategy

Farm Disaster Assistance & New Wildfire Protection Strategy

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Governor Inslee has requested Ag Secretary Vilsack to designate Snohomish County as a farm disaster area as a result of weather related losses and damage that occurred during the March 22 SR 530 mudslide. Inslee said he requested the disaster declaration so farmers and ranchers in Snohomish County, as well as contiguous counties, who have suffered financial losses from the slide are able to take advantage of emergency low interest loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency to help cover production and farm property losses.

During a recent press conference U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spoke about how the Obama Administration's newly released National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy came about.

JEWELL: The strategy is the result of an ongoing partnership that's providing us with a strategic roadmap for how we work together. That's across federal, tribal, state and local governments and with our NGO partners to effectively manage landscapes. With wild land fire seasons becoming longer and more intense, we can't follow the status quo when it comes to budgets. Each year we find ourselves in a situation where we're forced to rob Peter to pay Paul.

Jewell cited that in 2013 more than $650 million was redirected or borrowed to fund increased fire fighting costs. The new strategy calls for a mixture of fuels reduction, better preparing communities and structures for fires, and coordinated responses to the fires that do break out.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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