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KVNF Regional Newscast: June 26, 2024

"We Do Exist" was the theme for last year's Delta Pride celebrations. These types of Pride celebrations are especially important in rural communities, says Alex Stefan of Gunnison Valley Pride.
Lisa Young
"We Do Exist" was the theme for last year's Delta Pride celebrations. These types of Pride celebrations are especially important in rural communities, says Alex Stefan of Gunnison Valley Pride.

While the primary election is over, and ballots have been cast, local election officials remind voters that if you receive notice that there was a problem with your signature on the ballot, you must take action before July 3rd.

Rene Warner, Chief Deputy and Elections Manager at the Delta County Clerk and Recorder's office, says if you receive notification from your clerk and recorder, you must take action to make your ballot count.

“If you receive a signature deficient letter from us, to be sure to turn that in. You have up to eight days after the election to return those and still have your ballot count,” she said.

Tune in to KVNF at 5.50 this evening for updates on local election results.

A new analysis of agriculture in the seven Colorado River states reveals that the climate crisis is making farming increasingly difficult in the region.

In addition, it finds that current federal programs are insufficient in addressing the challenges.

The analysis was conducted by the Environmental Working Group, with the report authored by the nonprofit’s Midwest Director, Anne Schechinger.

“Drought and heat are worsening in the seven states that contain the Colorado River due to intensifying climate change making farming more difficult. And farm support programs can help farmers adapt to these changing climate conditions, but over 6 billion dollars went to farmers in these states between 2017 and 2023 through drought-related crop insurance payments, as well as environmental quality incentives program conservation payments for irrigation practices. And that money is really not helping farmers adapt to extreme weather from climate change,” she said.

Schechinger says federal programs like crop insurance weren't designed to help farmers adapt to the climate crisis. Instead she says they promote business as usual, helping farmers farm the same way that they always have.

“But we know that's not going to be possible in 20, 30 years in this region because of the drought, so what's really important is that the federal government and these programs help farmers become more resilient to the extreme weather that's already happening and that we know is going to get worse,” she said.

The Environmental Working Group report advocates for measures that were included in the recently-introduced Senate version of the Farm Bill.

One measure would allow farmers to implement conservation practices on their farms and still qualify for crop insurance.

June is Pride Month, and throughout the region, events are underway to celebrate and honor LGBTQ+ communities. In some rural areas, these celebrations are a relatively recent development and not always welcome.

Montrose held its first big Pride event recently. Rainbow in the Rockies Pride took place on June 8th. Meanwhile in Ouray, County commissioners fielded complaints about recognizing Pride month and flying the rainbow flag at the 4-H Center and Fairgrounds.

Alex Stefan from Gunnison Valley Pride says these types of visible Pride celebrations are especially important in rural communities.

“I think these are the kinds of communities where this kind of work is especially important, and also The support of our straight allies is even more important here. And I think largely it's that notion of you can't be what you can't see. And so for a lot of kids growing up in this community where there may not be the same education or information or resources out there about the ways that people might be identifying or the way that they are feeling when we don't have that education, we don't have an understanding of ourselves and who we are,” said Stefan.

“And so it makes it really difficult for kids and adults growing up here to really find themselves as well. And so having events like this allows them to see themselves reflected in the community. and build that sense of belonging as well.”

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