N.M. Congressional Democrats Announce USDA Will Cover 100% Of Cost Share For Producers Impacted By Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) and Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is waiving cost-share program requirements for agricultural producers and landowners impacted by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Wildfire.

With funding supported by New Mexico Congressional Democrats in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Continuing Resolution, USDA will offer a 100% cost share through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), and Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)

New Mexico Congressional Democrats recently secured the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act in the FY22 Continuing Resolution and an additional $2.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish and carry out the requirements of the bill. The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act is led by Senator Luján and Representative Leger Fernández, and co-sponsored by Senator Heinrich and Representative Stansbury.

New Mexico Congressional Democrats have been proactive in their engagement with the Biden administration and state and local officials to provide impacted New Mexicans with the assistance and support they need.

In June, after calls from Senators Heinrich and Luján and Representatives Leger Fernández and Stansbury, the USDA announced the department would cover 100% of the costs through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program for debris removal and other measures to address watershed impairments in designated areas of New Mexico impacted by recent wildfires.

Beginning April 6, 2022, the Hermit’s Peak Fire started as a result of an approved prescribed fire plan ignited by the U.S. Forest Service fire personnel in the Santa Fe National Forest. Hermit’s Peak Fire subsequently merged with the Calf Canyon Fire – a holdover fire from a prescribed pile burn conducted by the U.S. Forest Service – to become the largest fire in New Mexico’s history. The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire resulted in evacuations of more than 25,000 individuals in San Miguel and Mora Counties, destroyed 900 homes and structures, and scorched 341,735 acres (534 square miles) of land. ###


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