Fort Collins has been selected as one of seven “climate hubs” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has a major agricultural research facility in the community.
The competitive process among USDA centers resulted in the selection of seven national locations including USDA’s National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service in Fort Collins, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Today’s announcement comes several months after President Barack Obama appointed Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat to his Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliency, which underscores Fort Collins’ emerging leadership role in climate adaptation planning. Mayor Weitkunat is part of a 26-member task force that will advise the President on how to prepare communities and help federal programs more effectively support efforts at the local level.
“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,” said City Manager Darin Atteberry. “Our city organization is in the process of assessing climate risks and addressing vulnerabilities so we are prepared for the future.”
The City’s current Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2008 and is scheduled to be updated this year.
According to the USDA announcement, USDA climate hubs will help farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and have the information they need to keep up production while managing the risks from a shifting climate. They will link to a network of state and federal agencies, universities and non-governmental groups participating in climate risk adaptation and mitigation and serve as centers of climate forecast data and information for the public.
See usda.gov for more information about the USDA announcement.