Every year, a coalition of conservation and environmental groups produce a report to help Congress as it debates the federal budget for the year. This year, it illustrates the impact of budget cuts on our communities and the environment, and the importance of reinvesting in conservation and natural resources programs for Fiscal Year 2017.
Our public lands are a central component of our national identity and natural heritage. Our unique system of public lands was created so that all Americans, from all walks of life, could enjoy the outdoors and the benefits our public lands provide in perpetuity. Investments in our public lands have incredible benefits for public health, wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, local economies that benefit from recreational tourism, and the larger national economy. Numerous polls have shown that Americans care very deeply about the proper management and stewardship of this shared national resource. Modest investments in our land management agencies will better equip them to both meet the needs of communities in and around our public lands and preserve this irreplaceable resource for future generations.