Reid secures funding for projects in agriculture appropriations bill
August 4, 2009
Washington, D.C.—Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced more than $2.3 million for Nevada projects in agriculture, wildfire prevention and harmful species control. Reid delivered this funding in the Agricultural Appropriations Act, ensuring that important rural projects are able to help Nevadans in the coming year. Projects receiving funding include:
· $1,000,000 for the Nevada Department of Agriculture for Mormon Cricket eradication. This is a federal responsibility because many of the insects hatch on federal public lands in Nevada and spread to private rangeland. Many Nevada ranchers have lost valuable grazing land to swarms of these crickets. Last year, more than 1 million acres in Nevada were infested with Mormon crickets with most of the activity centering in Elko County.
· $235,000 for the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Management program to help farmers fight invasive weeds. Extensive populations of noxious weeds originate on federal lands, and spread to privately owned ranch and farm land, sapping nutrients and choking off plant life.
· $500,000 for the University of Nevada Arid Rangelands Initiative at the University of Nevada, Reno. With the limited amount of private land, Nevada’s ranchers must be good stewards of their land. This is particularly important in an arid, desert climate where agricultural resources are limited. The Arid Rangelands Initiative works to provide our rural stakeholders with the science-based information and tools needed to survive economically while caring for their lands.
·$269,000 for Conservation Fuels Management to help reduce the risk of wildfires. Over the past 10 years, wildfires have already burned more Nevada acres than the previous 50 years combined. Many wildfires have started on federal lands and spread to private lands. The Wildfire Support Group helps bring together university researchers, community partners, ranchers, and other community leaders to prevent the spread of wildfires.
· $340,000 for the University of Nevada’s Food and Agricultural Policy Institute. Since the 1980s, FAPRI has provided Congress with the baseline projections for agriculture and commodities. UNR recently joined this consortium and helps provide specialized information on western range-livestock sector and specialty crops. Funding would support policy analyses and other research initiatives in Nevada.
“Nevada’s ranchers and farmers face unique challenges due to the amount of federally managed land in our state,” said Reid. “Fighting harmful plant and insect species and preventing forest fires on federal lands will help preserve Nevada’s agriculture industry and protect the rural way of life.”