Oregon lawmakers welcome selection of Oregon State University's Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis as one of USDA's seven 'Climate Hubs', say federal funding will better equip state to tackle impacts including wildfires, reduced snowpack

WASHINGTON , February 5, 2014 (press release) – Today, Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio and Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley applauded the Obama Administration’s selection of Oregon State University to be one of seven Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change. As announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the OSU Hub will address increasing risks due to climate change such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts in the Pacific Northwest.

“Oregon State University has long been a leader in climate change research so it makes perfect sense the Obama Administration chose it to be one of seven Climate Hubs in the country,” Rep. DeFazio said. “By combining OSU’s body of work with federal funding, our region will be better-equipped than ever before to not only understand but to take action against the devastating effects of climate change, whether it’s reduced snowpack or more severe and frequent wildfires. The information developed and analyzed at OSU will benefit communities across the Pacific Northwest, providing critical information to our fishermen, foresters, ranchers, farmers and vintners.”

“Climate change is the paramount environmental challenge of our time, and farmers, ranchers, and the forest products industry are already grappling with its effects,” Senator Wyden said. “Science tells us that these industries can be a part of the solution to reduce emissions, and also that they could get hammered if they don't have the best information about how to adapt. I’m glad Secretary Vilsack has chosen the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis to provide Oregon’s agriculture sector with the tools it needs to address the threat of climate change.”

“Carbon pollution is a direct assault on the Northwest’s farming, fishing and forestry,” Senator Merkley said. “We need strategies to both combat climate change and to help our iconic natural resource industries adapt to the changes that are already happening. I am pleased that the administration has recognized OSU’s role as a climate research leader and is acting to help put these strategies in place.”

According to the USDA, nearly one quarter of the land in Oregon, Washington and Idaho is agricultural. The region produces over half of the nation’s potato crop, about 17 percent of the nation’s wheat and 11 percent of the U.S. milk supply.

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