USDA authorizes $500,000 in federal aid for Roosevelt Fire victims

SUBLETTE COUNTY, WYO – The US Department of Agriculture has made available $500,000 in recovery aid to Sublette County for victims of the Roosevelt Fire, according to sources in Washington.

US Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Congresswoman Liz Cheney applauded the US Department of Agriculture’s approval of Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) funding to help in the Roosevelt Fire recovery effort.

The Roosevelt Fire in Sublette County was initially deemed ineligible for Emergency Watershed Protection Program funding. The Wyoming delegation sent a letter last month urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review the request.

“The Roosevelt Fire caused significant damage and losses, and it is critically important that the federal government provide all appropriate forms of assistance, in accordance with relevant rules, laws, and regulations,” the Wyoming delegation wrote. “We urge you to review the request for EWP assistance as quickly as possible and provide any assistance appropriate so that plans to mitigate hazards caused by the Roosevelt Fire can be developed and executed as soon as possible.”

More than $500,000 will be allocated from the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which was created to provide aid in order to fix erosion and land destabilization that occurs from natural disaster. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the local communities will have to provide a small percentage of matching funds for the projects undertaken with these funds.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wyoming said that if funding wasn’t provided to help recovery efforts, it would likely cost significantly more, at least $2.6 million, to fix additional damage that would occur later.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had already provided the state with a $425,000 mitigation grant to repair the fire damaged areas.

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