April 9, 2001
Patricia Fisher, 202-208-5634
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291
President Bush's $1.78 billion budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service for Fiscal Year 2002 provides significant funding in support of
State and local conservation efforts. This includes $161.0 million in
discretionary appropriations for programs that exclusively give direct
financial and technical assistance to States, local communities,
landowners, and conservation groups. It also provides nearly $600.0
million in permanently appropriated State grants for fish and wildlife
restoration and conservation.
"The President's budget underscores his strong determination that the
States, Tribes, and private citizens must be equal partners with the
Federal government in the management and conservation of this country's
natural resources," said Secretary Norton. "Also, with his support for
shoring up our national wildlife refuges and providing funds for visitors
facilities, the President wants to ensure that all Americans can experience
first-rate outdoor recreational and educational opportunities."
The 2002 request for current appropriations is $1.09 billion. While a
$167.9 million reduction from 2001, it is a $204.8 million increase over
2000. The budget includes reductions of $175.6 million in existing Service
grant programs. However, States will be able to conduct projects that would
have been funded with these grant programs through the LWCF State grants
program. This program gives the States new flexibility for the use of LWCF
State grants and is funded under the National Park Service. LWCF State
grants are funded at $450.0 million, a $359.7 million increase over 2001.
Beginning in 2002, States will be able to use these funds for wetlands
conservation, threatened and endangered species conservation, and wildlife
and habitat conservation.
The President is also requesting $60 million for two new grant programs
designed to assist private landowners, farmers, developers and ranchers in
protecting and managing habitat. The budget includes $50 million to
establish a competitively awarded cost, shared landowner incentive program
for grants to States, the District of Columbia, Territories and Tribes.
This grant program will allow the States to work with private landowners to
protect habitat for diverse species while engaging in traditional land
management practices. The second new grant program, entitled Private
Stewardship Grants, will fund $10 million in grants to individuals and
organizations for conservation initiatives on private lands. Both grant
programs will give the States, Tribes, and local communities more
flexibility for innovative conservation partnerships on private lands.
The Service's budget request also maintains a strong commitment to Federal
conservation efforts by providing $104.4 million, an increase of $42.5
million over 2000, for priority acquisition of land and conservation
easements from willing sellers.
"As land use and natural resource decisions grow ever more complex, it is
clear the Service must step up its commitment to collaborate with our state
and local partners early in the decision making process," said Acting
Service Director Marshall Jones. "There are many talented, knowledgeable,
dedicated and highly professional people throughout the country who have
their own locally-based wildlife conservation concerns. By bringing these
partners to the table, we are offering a common sense approach to natural
The budget funds Service operations at $806.8 million, about the same as
2001 but a $92.2 million increase above 2000. This request includes $314.7
million for National Wildlife Refuge System operations and maintenance, a
net increase of $15 million over the 2001 enacted level, and a $56 million
increase over FY 2000 funding levels. The funding increase demonstrates
the Secretary's commitment to reducing maintenance backlogs through a
three-step approach: $1.9 million is requested to hire essential
maintenance workers; $2.2 million for annual preventive maintenance; and
$5.9 million for deferred maintenance, including a $1.8 million increase
for condition assessments and improved maintenance management systems.
Service estimates indicate that, throughout the country, refuge visitors
contribute more than $400 million to local economies each year. These
benefits are expected to grow as more and more people visit refuges during
the System's 100th anniversary in 2003.
To further support the Service's preparation for the centennial anniversary
of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Administration is requesting
$2.6 million to fund the construction of both an interpretive center and
administrative facility for Florida's tiny Pelican Island, the nation's
first national wildlife refuge. These new facilities will help the Service
better tell the story of the Refuge System's 100-year history.
The Service's budget also proposes several targeted initiatives to address
high priority conservation needs in California, the Pacific Northwest,
Florida Everglades, and the Great Lakes.
CALFED Bay Delta Restoration: The Service requests an additional $1 million
to support the multi-agency CALFED Bay Delta Program to restore ecosystems
and improve water management in California's Sacramento- San Joaquin
Bay-Delta estuary. The Service has a major role in addressing compliance
with both the State and Federal Endangered Species Acts; with
collaboratively managing the Environmental Water Account; and in overseeing
wetlands, flood plain management, and restoration contracts. An additional
$7.2 million is included in the land acquisition account for key Central
- Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan: The Service requests an
additional $2.7 million to support the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration
Plan (CERP), the most far-reaching and ambitious ecosystem restoration
project ever undertaken in the United States. This effort, expected to take
30 years to complete, is designed to restore the historic hydrology and
ecological function of the Everglades that have been seriously degraded by
50 years of flood control and drainage projects. In cooperation with the
Army Corps of Engineers and other interagency partners, the Service will
offer technical assistance and wildlife conservation expertise to ensure
that ecosystem benefits are consistent with long-term CERP goals. This
project represents a major commitment by the Service in South Florida. When
completed, it will restore habitat for wetland-dependent and other aquatic
species as well as recreational and commercial fisheries.
- Columbia Basin Aquatic Conservation: The Service requests an additional
$3.5 million to address salmon conservation in the Columbia River Basin of
the Pacific Northwest, particularly for listed fish including bull trout,
Kootenai white sturgeon, and 12 salmon and steelhead populations. With
more than a century of fisheries management experience in the Columbia
River Basin and Endangered Species Act responsibility for bull trout and
Kootenai white sturgeon, the Service will work to restore and protect
habitat, modify fish propagation strategies; improve hydro power operations
to ensure the survival of native aquatic species; manage harvest to
minimize take of listed species while meeting treaty trust responsibilities
and providing minimum levels of sport and commercial harvest; and address
Caspian tern depredation of juvenile salmon.
- Trinity River Restoration: The Service requests an additional $2 million to
implement a comprehensive river restoration program that specifies flows in
the river, restoration actions, and monitoring/adaptive management
necessary to restore the lost fisheries of the Trinity River in the Pacific
Northwest. The Service will work with the Trinity Management Council to
select high priority habitat restoration projects that will help increase
populations of coho, steelhead, and chinook salmon, increase spawning
habitat, and establish adequate water quality for essential fish migration.
- Great Lakes Consent Decree: The Service requests an additional $1.2 million
to uphold tribal fishing rights and allocate fishery resources to the
Tribes, in accordance with the US v Michigan 2000 Consent Decree. The
Service is required to provide expert technical support on dispute issues
related to the Decree; to provide biological expertise and technical
assistance to the Tribes and the State of Michigan on the allocation and
management of shared fishery resources; to maintain and increase the number
of lake trout stocked in Lakes Michigan and Huron; and to evaluate the
success of lake trout rehabilitation.
The proposed budget calls for the following funding levels to support the
Service's resource management programs:
- A total of $112 million for Endangered Species operations, including a
program increase of $2 million for the ESA listing program.
- A total of $92.9 million for the Service's Fisheries Program, a $5.9
million program increase for initiatives described above. This funding
request will support activities designed to restore the nation's waterways
as well as native aquatic species and their habitat. America's waterways,
considered an economic lifeline, provide millions of Americans with
countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and have significant impact
on the health of our communities.
- A total of $25.2 million to support the Service's Migratory Bird Management
programs, including funding to support the Columbia Basin Aquatic
Conservation described above for Caspian tern salmon depredation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency with
responsibility for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National
Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 wildlife refuges,
thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also
operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78
ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife
laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird
populations restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and
restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments
with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program
that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on
angling and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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