Oct 22, 2021 | Blog

Latest On Infrastructure 10.22.21


A top priority for the Family Farm Alliance this year has been advocating for inclusion of Western water  provisions in federal infrastructure legislation considered by Congress. Right now, $8.3 billion is provided for the Bureau of Reclamation in the $1.2 bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. Senate, matching the provisions supported by over 220 agricultural, urban and water organizations across the West. The Alliance has helped lead this advocacy effort, which includes working with a variety of media outlets to discuss the importance of Western irrigated agriculture and the water infrastructure that is needed to support it.

New York Times Includes Alliance in Drought Story

A drought-stricken field in Klamath Falls, Ore., in July. The American West is in the middle of a multi-year megadrought made worse by climate change. Credit…Nathan Howard/Associated Press

Earlier this month, the Alliance was quoted in the Sunday New York Times about the Senate bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“We’ve been telling lawmakers for a long time that climate change could further strain fresh water supplies in the West, and that we need to plan ahead before it’s a crisis,” Dan Keppen, executive director of Family Farm Alliance, told the Times.

Read Full NYT Article

SfL: Pathways to Restoring Forest Health and Water Storage

We alerted you earlier this week of Alliance President Pat O’Toole testifying Wednesday before a House Natural Resources subcommittee. Solutions from the Land wrote a great post covering his testimony that we share here:

“The Wyoming rancher told lawmakers that U.S. forests are in a “sad state” and solutions must be found and applied through specific and thoughtful management. The problem involves a natural landscape, so some of the solutions will be time-tested natural processes. Others will be driven by landowners and forest managers through proactive, aggressive actions such as removal of dead trees, reforestation, invasive species mitigation, and natural and built water storage systems.”

Read SfL Post

Southern Oregon TV Reports on Alliance Infrastructure Efforts

 An interview this week with Dan Keppen by ABC affiliate KDRV in Medford, Oregon turned into a two-part series that was turned into a longer-form story.

“When people talk about infrastructure, water infrastructure isn’t talked about very much,” Keppen told reporter Tyler Ridgle. “Usually it’s railroads and ports and transportation, highways, and bridges. When they do talk about water back in D.C., a lot of times, it’s drinking water.”

We were pleased with the attention our recent Senate testimony received and encourage you to read and view the KDRV coverage.

Read & View TV Interview

We will continue to keep you informed on this and other developments impacting Western irrigated agriculture.
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