Hess: Help in face of climate change | AspenTimes.com

Hess: Help in face of climate change

Thank you for illuminating the many challenges facing Colorado’s farmers and ranchers due to our extended drought and warming temperatures. Heather Sackett’s recent article, “Four things to know about the lower Colorado River basin,” featured Kremmling rancher Paul Bruchez, who is experimenting with growing sainfoin as a drought-tolerant alternative to water-thirsty alfalfa. Bruchez, concerned about the survival of the agricultural industry, stated, “People just don’t have enough water to irrigate the way they used to irrigate.” 

Increasingly, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are working to address the challenges posed by climate change. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes investments in climate resilience such as watershed improvements and forest health. Thus far, Colorado has received $1.1 billion in investments from this bill.

In July, the CHIPS and Science Act passed by bipartisan majorities, and its historic investments in clean energy technology and disaster-resilience research will benefit Coloradans.

Another bipartisan climate bill, The Growing Climate Solutions Act (HR 2820), is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. This bill would help compensate agricultural producers, via verifiable carbon markets, for voluntarily sequestering carbon through healthy soil practices such as cover crops, reduced tillage and rotational grazing. Due in part to the support of our own Sens. Bennet and Hickenlooper, it overwhelmingly passed in the Senate (92-8).

I encourage you to contact Rep. Boebert and ask her to help boost incomes for our Western Slope farmers, ranchers and forest owners by voting for the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

Susan Hess

Grand Junction