Luján Applauds USDA Announcement to Cover 100% of Cost-Share for Producers Impacted by Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire
USDA announcement follows Luján’s successful effort to pass the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act into law
Nambé, N.M. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will waive cost-share program requirements for New Mexico agricultural producers and landowners impacted by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire:
“Through no fault of their own, the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire devastated thousands of New Mexicans and destroyed more than 340,000 acres of our cherished lands and forests. Our farmers and ranchers, business owners, and families deserve relief to recover,” said Luján. “I was proud to introduce the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act to help New Mexicans begin to rebuild, and I’m thankful for the support of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation in getting this legislation across the finish line and signed into law.”
“Today’s announcement from the USDA, made possible by my legislation, is welcomed news for New Mexico producers and landowners. New Mexicans who are approved for cost-share assistance will not have to worry about footing the bill for a fire that the federal government started. This is a step in the right direction,” Luján continued. “New Mexicans are working each day to rebuild their lives following this disaster, and I will continue fighting to ensure that our state receives every bit of relief that we are owed by the federal government.”
Senator Luján and New Mexico’s Congressional Democrats successfully included the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act and $2.5 billion for FEMA to establish and carry out the requirements of the bill in the Continuing Resolution, which was signed into law on September 30, 2022. Building off of legislation introduced by Senators Luján and Heinrich, the law also included a provision to waive the cost-share requirement for all programs administered by USDA.
Made possible by the Continuing Resolution, USDA will offer a 100 percent cost share through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), and Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP). This means producers who use EQIP, ECP and EFRP will not have to use their own individual matching funds.
Producers interested in EQIP, ECP and EFRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to apply for cost-share assistance.
Additional USDA disaster assistance information can be found on farmers.gov, including the Wildfire Recovery webpage Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet and Farm Loan Discovery Tool. For FSA and NRCS programs, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.