Mark Udall expressed concern over the lack of funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) in the U.S. House of Representative's proposal to keep government running for the next six months, commonly called the Continuing Resolution.
"Colorado wildfires have done considerable damage, not only to people's homes and livelihoods, but also to the watersheds that all Coloradans depend on for safe drinking water and that farmers and ranchers need to irrigate their crops and provide water to their livestock," Udall said. "The Emergency Watershed Protection Program plays a critical and emergency role in helping to stabilize and restore watersheds damaged by wildfires such as the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires. We need to ensure that this program has the emergency funding necessary to carry out the restoration needs in Colorado and other areas of the country affected by major disasters."
Last month, Udall joined Senator Michael Bennet in sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging it to consider emergency supplemental appropriations to provide additional funding to the EWP program in order to help areas throughout Colorado address a number of natural resource issues related to the summer's devastating wildfires. The USDA has estimated that it will need approximately $20 million for mitigating the watershed damage from the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires.