Fort Collins named one of seven ‘climate hubs’

FORT COLLINS – Fort Collins has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as one of seven regional ‘climate hubs.’

Across the nation, “climate hubs” will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management, according to a USDA release.

The USDA National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service in Fort Collins will serve as the Northern Plains Region center of climate change information and outreach to mitigate risks to the agricultural sector.

“The USDA serves as a significant asset for our community along with the great climate research at Colorado State University. We look forward to providing assistance on this very critical topic,” City Manager Darin Atteberry said in a statement. “Our city organization is in the process of assessing climate risks and addressing vulnerabilities so we are prepared for the future.”

The climate hubs follow on the heels of additional climate change legislation from the White House.

On Nov. 1, the President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order that directs Federal agencies to take a series of steps to make it easier for American communities to strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change.

The president also created a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and on Nov. 8 appointed Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat to be a representative on the force. The Task Force is composed of 26 members who will advise the Administration on how best to prepare communities for the impact of climate change.

The seven regional climate hub centers across the nation include:

• Midwest: National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
• Midwest Sub-Hub in Houghton, Mich.
• Northeast: Northern Research Station, Forest Service, Durham, N.H.
• Southeast: Southern Research Station, Forest Service, Raleigh N.C.
• Southeast Sub-Hub in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
• Northern Plains: National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo.
• Southern Plains: Grazinglands Research Lab, Agricultural Research Service, El Reno, Okla.
• Pacific Northwest: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, Corvallis, Ore.
• Southwest: Rangeland Management Unit/Jornada Experimental Range, Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, N.M.
• Southwest Sub-hub in Davis, Calif.

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