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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

Budget Day

Yesterday, in Washington-speak, was "budget day." The day that the President unveils his budget for the next fiscal year -- FY 2013. For agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is the culmination of a process that began in November 2010, so it's a long time coming.

The President’s FY 2013 budget request for the Service is 1.5 billion, that’s $72 million more than the last fiscal year.  As with all budgets, we had to make some tough choices when we made our request; tough as they were, in a time of fiscal austerity, our request reflects the good conservation work that we do.  It also furthers our goal of transforming the agency to meet the many conservation challenges of the 21st century. 

Wind TurbineThe Service’s budget includes an additional $4.0 million to support energy development including funding for enhanced studies of renewable energy projects, technical assistance in project design, and Endangered Species Act consultation. Photo: NOAA

As I said in my very first Tweet (yesterday I joined Twitter, you can follow me @DirectorDanAshe), the President’s request was good news for the Service and for conservation. If you’re interested, here’s more detail on the request.

If you can believe it, as the President unveiled this budget, we were already fast at work on the FY 2014 edition. And I'm getting briefings on proposed allocations for FY 2012 funding.

So yesterday was an intersection of 3 fiscal years: allocating 2012, proposing 2013, and formulating 2014.  Is your head spinning yet? Mine was. It’s enough to make a biologist like me wish he'd taken a course or two in finance or accounting.  

But since I didn't, this time of year, I'm thankful for good finance and budget professionals who did.

Talk to you soon.


There are many citizens, in the southeast particularly, that are confused with the latest budget request. Last year the Directorate and President proposed cutting funding for non-reimbursed mitigation for FY 2012. Both Houses of Congress communicated this past Fall that they want this program to continue uninterrupted, but that they want the Service to continue negotiating for reimbursements. The President signed this budget into law. But for 2013, you've requested this same cut as though you did not understand, did not read, or did not care what the Congress and the President had signed.

Without negotiated settlements from TVA, COE, etc., budgets; how can you ensure that these mitigation activities will continue uninterrupted as the Congress and President have stated in a legal document?
# Posted By Gail | 3/14/12 6:56 AM

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