President Trump’s Budget Proposes $12.8 Billion for Department of the Interior Programs in FY 2021 – Invests $1B for a Stronger Interior Wildland Fire Program
$12.8B budget also proposes strategic investments in programs for land management, bolstering conservation and recreation activities, law enforcement, energy development and public infrastructure
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
The FWS works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the benefit of the American people. The overall proposed 2021 budget for FWS is $1.4 billion and includes these notable allocations:
• $525.3 million for National Wildlife Refuge System operations and maintenance.
• $70.2 million for habitat conservation programs, including $57.2 million to support voluntary, citizen and community-based conservation on private lands.
• An increase in funding, totaling $86.8 million, for visitor services in the National Wildlife Refuge System, which offers wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities to more than 59 million people each year.
• $244.1 million to conserve, protect and enhance listed and at-risk fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, specifically $28.6 million for conservation and restoration activities, including the proactive conservation of at-risk species. These funds support real results, such as the Service’s 2019 announcement that the Kirtland’s warbler is recovered and no longer requires Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.
National Park Service (NPS)
The NPS system covers 85 million acres at 419 park units and served more than 318 million visitors in 2018. The NPS asset portfolio includes more than 5,500 miles of paved roads, 21,000 miles of trails and 25,000 buildings. In 2019, NPS leveraged $175 million in recreation fees to address priority maintenance projects to improve the visitor experience. The NPS estimates that in FY 2020 and FY 2021, $200 and $205 million in fee revenues respectively will be utilized for similar facility and infrastructure projects.
The proposed budget for the NPS prioritizes core mission capacity, increases recreational and public access and invests in critical infrastructure improvements. The 2021 proposed budget for NPS is $2.8 billion and includes these notable allocations:
• $2.5 billion for operations of the National Park system with $844.2 million for facility operations and maintenance.
• $366.2 million for law enforcement programs and other park protection activities to ensure the safety of park visitors.
• $11 million for collaborative activities with States, gateway communities and lands adjacent to NPS units.
• An increase of $3 million is proposed ($4 million in total) for infrastructure resiliency projects at the most urgent sites to mitigate wildfire risk to visitors, staff and park infrastructure.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
The BIA prioritizes operations and program assistance to American Indians, Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives. The 2021 proposed budget for BIA is $1.9 billion and includes these notable allocations:
• $390.4 million to directly support 191 law enforcement programs and 96 corrections programs run either by tribes themselves or by the Office of Justice Services.
• $81.7 million to support Consolidated Tribal Government programs, which also promote tribal self-determination by giving tribes the flexibility to combine and manage contracted programs and grants that are similar or compatible in order to simplify contracting.
• A new allocation of $8.5 million to expand broadband access.
• $25.7 million to support domestic energy abundance and economic development of energy resources on Tribal lands.