Friday, November 20, 2009

Funding Increases for Interior and Related Agencies Signed into Law

From the Wildlife Management Institute's Outdoor Bulletin

Funding Increases for Interior and Related Agencies Signed into Law

President Obama signed the $32.2 billion Interior, Environment and Related Agencies fiscal year 2010 (FY10) appropriations bill into law on October 30. The bill provides a 17 percent increase in spending from last year’s appropriation for most of the natural resources and environmental agencies in the federal government, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. Overall, the U.S. Department of the Interior was allocated nearly $11 billion, the Environmental Protection Agency $10.3 billion and USDA Forest Service $5.3 billion. Interior Department agencies saw a boost in funding. The Bureau of Land Management, for example, received $1.1 billion—an increase of nearly $100 million from last year’s funding level. Within that allocation, land resource management programs were appropriated $246.5 million, and wildlife and fisheries management, including threatened and endangered species, received $73 million—an increase of nearly $3 million. The National Park Service was appropriated a total of $2.7 billion, including $346 million for resource stewardship, which is an increase of $30 million over last year. Land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund also saw a big boost from recent years. It received $305 million, including $40 million for state and local parks and recreation programs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allocation is just short of $1.7 billion—an increase of more than $200 million. Most notably, the increase includes almost $40 million for climate change-related activities. The Ecological Services Division was allocated $311 million, including $117 million for habitat conservation and $180 million for endangered species. The National Wildlife Refuge System operations and maintenance accounts received a nearly 8-percent bump in funding for a total of $503 million. Migratory bird management is funded at $54.5 million and the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund was given a $5 million increase to just under $48 million. Other programs of interest include $90 million for state and tribal wildlife grants (of which $7 million is for a competitive grant program for Indian tribes and $5 million for a competitive grant program for states, territories and other jurisdictions) and $11 million in grants to states for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.

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