(House of Representatives - July 20, 2011)

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[Pages H5250-H5251]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  (Mr. LUJAN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. LUJAN. Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of important conversations 
that are taking place today, but it's important that we talk about what 
has happened in New Mexico recently.
  New Mexico has been hit by a series of wildfires during this 
extremely dry fire season. Many communities have been threatened by 
fires as families have lost their homes and livestock and tribal lands 
have been damaged.
  At a time when many counties are struggling with a drought, the fire

[[Page H5251]]

damage to our watersheds, which provide New Mexico with the majority of 
its surface water, has impacted drinking water supplies and increased 
the threat of floods during monsoon season.
  With the Midwest recovering from floods and tornados and the West 
battling fires and drought, the current resources available to fight 
these disasters are simply not enough. Funds for the Natural Resource 
Conservation Service's Emergency Watershed Protection program, which 
assist with the protection of watersheds that have been impacted by 
natural disasters, have almost been depleted as a result of the 
disasters around the country. It's vital that we provide more resources 
for this critical program that can strengthen watersheds affected by 
the combination of fire, damage, high temperature, and lack of 
  I encourage my colleagues to support efforts to address funding 
shortfalls to the Emergency Watershed Protection program so we can help 
our communities recover.