U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday the creation of the first ever “Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change” at seven locations around the country, and Puerto Rico.
“Climate Hubs” will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling 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.
“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges. 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,” said Vilsack. “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 are located throughout the U.S., by regions. The Puerto Rico “sub-hub,” to be located in Río Piedras, falls under the jurisdiction of the Southern Research Station, Forest Service, in Raleigh, N.C. The hubs were chosen through a competitive process among USDA facilities. The Southeast sub-hub will address issues important to the Caribbean, the agency said.
The Climate Hubs will build on the capacity within USDA to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to support decision-making related to climate change across the country.