The President’s fiscal year 2014 budget request provides $1.6 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $76.4 million over the 2012 enacted budget. Funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System is requested at $499.2 million, an increase of $12.7 million over the enacted level. The Congress must act on the proposed budget.
“The Service’s budget reflects the tough choices all federal agencies must make as we seek to shrink federal spending while continuing to meet our critical commitments and fund high priority programs,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “It focuses our resources on transforming the agency to meet the conservation challenges of the 21st century and remain relevant in a changing American society. By building science capacity and focusing on strategic, partnership-driven landscape conservation, this budget will enable us to be more effective and efficient with the funding we receive.”
The budget request for the Refuge System enables refuges to complete additional habitat improvement projects. It also includes $3.2 million for the Cooperative Recovery initiative to address threats to endangered species on and around wildlife refuges, and $3.8 million for the Challenge Cost Share program, which funds a variety of small-scale projects undertaken with partners.
The request for Refuge Inventory and Monitoring is $3 million above the FY 2012 enacted level and will be used to continue building the landscape scale, long-term inventory and monitoring network that the Service began in FY 2010.
An additional $2.7 million will be used for refuge law enforcement to respond to drug production and smuggling, wildlife poaching, illegal border activity, assaults, and a variety of natural resource violations.
The 2014 budget continues the Service’s commitment to ecosystem restoration on a landscape level by requesting $87.2 million for several priority ecosystems, which encompass many wildlife refuges. This funding supports restoration work in the Everglades ($16 million); California Bay-Delta ($4.9 million); Gulf Coast ($10.2 million); Chesapeake Bay ($10.3 million); and Great Lakes ($45.8 million).
For more information about the proposed budget for the Department of the Interior, go to: http://www.doi.gov/budget/index.cfm
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