WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the creation of new Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, floods and 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.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged that his Administration would continue to do everything in its power to act on climate change. USDA says its climate hubs will be part of the administration’s larger climate change mitigation efforts.
"For generations, America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” said Vilsack. Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation's forests and our farmers' bottom lines. USDA's Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate."
The Hubs will provide outreach and information to producers on ways to mitigate risks; public education about the risks climate change poses to agriculture, ranchlands and forests; regional climate risk and vulnerability assessments; and centers of climate forecast data and information. They will also link a broad network of partners participating in climate risk adaptation and mitigation, including universities; non-governmental organizations; federal agencies such as the Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Native Nations and organizations; state departments of environment and agriculture; research centers; farm groups and more.
The Hubs were chosen through a competitive process among USDA facilities. In addition to the seven Hubs, USDA is designating three Subsidiary Hubs ("Sub Hubs") that will function within the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. The Sub Hubs will support the Hub within their region and focus on a narrow and unique set of issues relative to what will be going on in the rest of the Hub. The Southwest Sub Hub, located in Davis, California, will focus on specialty crops and Southwest forests, the Southeast Sub Hub will address issues important to the Caribbean, and the Midwest Sub Hub will address climate change and Lake State forests.
The following locations have been selected to serve as their region's center of climate change information and outreach to mitigate risks to the agricultural sector:
- Midwest: National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa; Sub-Hub in Houghton, Mich.
- Northeast: Northern Research Station, Forest Service, Durham, N.H.
- Southeast: Southern Research Station, Forest Service, Raleigh, N.C; 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.; Sub-hub in Davis, Calif.
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