Hickenlooper seeks federal drought disaster declaration
"I am requesting a secretarial natural disaster designation for all qualifying/eligible counties in Colorado due to losses caused by drought, low snow pack, excessive heat and high winds that occurred from Jan. 1, 2012 and continuing," the governor said in a letter to Vilsack.
Typically, counties must meet certain crop-loss criteria to qualify for disaster assistance from the agriculture department. Once that crop loss criteria has been met, the governor makes a request to the agriculture secretary asking for a disaster designation for that county.
However, because of severe drought this year, the state Department of Agriculture has worked with the local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency to seek a disaster designation before each county shows the minimum crop loss.
"We expect this process to speed up getting U.S.D.A. assistance for the entire state," Hickenlooper said in a statement issued by his office. "If the secretary grants our disaster designation, a county can qualify for assistance immediately after the supporting documentation showing crop loss is certified."
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