Despite funding requests that are lower than previous years, President Obama’s federal budget request shows a continued commitment to conservation, according to The Wilderness Society.
“When you are seeing across the board cuts to all sectors of the government, seeing comparatively strong funding levels in the request shows that the Administration knows that there is a lot bang for the conservation buck,” said Alan Rowsome, director of conservation funding for The Wilderness Society.
“Conservation programs in America help keep the $730 billion outdoor recreation engine running, and the budget reflects that. In a budget full of hard decisions, the increased request for conservation funding shows the continued commitment of this administration to support proven economic drivers.”
Among the highlights of the President’s request are:
- Funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $450 million – 30% higher than the FY2012 enacted budget
- $3.3 million increase to National Monuments and National Conservation Areas within the National Landscape Conservation System
- $86 million for “smart from the start” renewable energy projects on federal lands – a 21% increase
- Full funding of $40 million for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration program
“This budget proposal is a solid starting point for Congress, and we hope that they will continue their commitment to conservation and renewable energy,” said Rowsome.