Rep. Salazar Applauds Investment in Rural America
Congressman John T. Salazar (CO-03) lauded the passage of the Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations Act of 2008 as a Reinvestment in Rural America. "This legislation makes an important reinvestment in Rural America," said Rep Salazar. This legislation includes provisions that transforms energy future, promotes home ownership to rural families, and invests in research. This Agriculture Appropriations bill also invests in community facilities such as health care, educational, public safety and day care facilities. "Families in rural areas provide the foundation for every American; producing a safe and affordable food supply for the nation and growing fibers used in textiles and clothing throughout the world,"
Nearly doubled in this bill is funding for renewable energy loans which promote economic growth by creating new jobs and lowering energy prices.
This legislation also highly recommends funding for the following projects in Colorado, pending review and approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Gunnison Basin Sage Grouse Habitat Preservation
If funded, this project will protect important Gunnison Sage-grouse habitat on private ranchlands within the Upper Gunnison River Basin by purchasing permanent conservation easements on those lands. The Gunnison Basin Sage-grouse Strategic Committee, working with Gunnison Ranchland Legacy, identified two properties with significant Gunnison Sage-grouse habitat values as appropriate and of highest priority for this request. If completed these easements will protect important habitat while allowing viable ranching to continue.
Gunnison Basin Sage Grouse Habitat Improvement
If funded, this project will aid in preserving the Gunnison Sage-grouse. Federal dollars would be used to implement a five year habitat improvement and monitoring program to conduct treatments on 15,000 acres of existing seasonal habitats on private and public lands in the Gunnison River Basin. It will also provide for monitoring the results to assure they meet the habitat quality guidelines outlined in the Gunnison Sage-grouse Rangewide Conservation Plan. Improving Gunnison Sage-grouse habitats on private and public lands has been identified as a priority by working groups across the range of the Gunnison Sage-grouse.
Plachy Hall Renewable Energy Program
If funded, the Plachy Hall Renewal Energy Project would use federal renewable energy dollars coupled with funding from the state dollars to remodel Plachy Hall on the Adams State College campus. The Plachy Hall renovation project has been approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). The Governor and the Colorado General Assembly appropriated $4.9 million toward phase 1 of the project in the current fiscal year. Phase 2 is currently under consideration by the Capital Construction Development Committee.
Costilla County Biodiesel Pilot Project
If funding is received, it would be used for renewable energy development at this small-scale, vertically integrated, biodiesel production facility in Mesita that has been built as part of a partnership between Costilla County Economic Development Council Inc., (EDC) and the Costilla County Commissioners' Office.
Norwood Water Treatment and Distribution System
If funded, money would be used to increase water quality at the Norwood Water Commission. Ongoing problems with water quality include Boil Water Orders, disinfectant residuals and an E. Coli incident. The NWC has tried through the years to meet the requirements of the SDWA through filtration and disinfection. It has become more and more difficult for Norwood's small, financially-limited system as Federal regulations continue to lower acceptable contaminant levels.