Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján announced that more than $2.8 million in federal assistance relief is being made available to Santa Clara Pueblo through the Public Assistance Grant Program to assist with the installation of debris collection structures. As a result of a disaster declaration in August of 2012 in response to severe flooding from June 22 to July 12, 2012, the pueblo was made eligible for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Senator Udall, then-Senator Jeff Bingaman, and Rep. Luján wrote letters in support of Santa Clara and the State's request for a disaster declaration to assist the pueblo.
"I am very glad to see this funding finally come to Santa Clara Pueblo. The Las Conchas fire caused significant damage that has been compounded by serious floods over two years," Udall said. "Santa Clara Pueblo had to wait too long for assistance, so it is very good to be able to announce this funding to help them rebuild and recover."
"The Las Conchas Fire left lasting scars that have continued to impact Santa Clara Pueblo over the past few years," Luján said. "These vital funds will help the pueblo move forward with critical efforts to recover from flooding that occurred last summer, as well as more recent flooding that has impacted the community."
Santa Clara Pueblo will receive $2,841,759 that will allow the pueblo to take emergency protective measures and install temporary structures to collect debris resulting from flooding. These structures will reduce the flow of large vegetative and rock debris being washed down the side canyons leading to the main Santa Clara Creek Canyon.
Santa Clara Pueblo, which is downstream of land damaged in the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, has experienced severe flooding caused by runoff over the burn scar on multiple occasions in the years following the fire. These federal funds will be made available to State of New Mexico administrative agents, who will then distribute the money to Santa Clara Pueblo.