Haaland and Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Water and Science, made plans to meet Democratic Representative Diana Deegt Gov. Jared Polis and Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water, Colorado’s largest water agency, to discuss the region’s drought and potential federal solutions.
The American West is hit by the worst drought in modern history, involving most of the Western Colorado The northern part of the state has been facing deadly floods and landslides after rain lashed the areas affected by massive forest fires last year. Fires are burning throughout the West, most severely in Oregon and California, while drought stresses major waterways such as the Colorado River and reservoirs that sustain millions of lives.
Drought in the region and recent heat waves linked to climate change have made it harder to fight wildfires. Climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past 30 years and will continue to make the weather more extreme and wildfires bigger and more destructive.
Haaland’s three-day stay in Colorado includes his first visit Friday to the new headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction, established by the Trump administration in 2019. The agency’s move from Washington, D.C., sparked outrage from critics, who it said affected it. Office. Holland opposed the move as a member of Congress.
The agency overseeing the Department of the Interior manages approximately 250 million acres of public land, most of which is in the West. Polis and Colorado’s congressional delegation have urged Hollande to hold office in Grand Junction.
Haaland’s visit comes as a US Senate panel deadlocked on Thursday to oversee President Joe Biden’s land agency amid allegations he halted a 1989 sabotage investigation into an Idaho lumber sale.
A 10-10 tie on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee set up a floor vote on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning. Each Senate Republican and at least one Democratic lawmaker would be required to prevent his confirmation in an equally divided House.
According to government scientists, Holland has been experiencing extensive areas of severe and intense dry periods in the West over the past several years, resulting in more intense and dangerous wildfires, drier croplands and loss of vegetation for livestock and wildlife. Is.
They also found that the problem is accelerating – rain storms are becoming increasingly unpredictable and more regions are seeing longer time intervals between storms since the turn of the century.
Nieberg is a core member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on secret issues.
See AP’s full coverage of the drought: https://apnews.com/hub/draughts.