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RECORD $1.4 BILLION BUDGET FOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVIC
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Subject: RECORD $1.4 BILLION BUDGET FOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVIC
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Date: 2/3/98 12:08 AM
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For release February 1, 1998 Hugh Vickery 202-208-5634
PRESIDENT CLINTON PROPOSES RECORD $1.4 BILLION
BUDGET FOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
President Clinton is proposing a record $1.42 billion budget for the
Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Fiscal Year 1999,
including $826.3 million, an 11-percent increase, in appropriated funding
to support the Service's endangered species, national wildlife refuges,
migratory bird, fisheries, land acquisition, construction and other programs.
"The President's budget reflects how important the work of the Fish and
Wildlife Service is to the American people," Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt said. "Americans have an unmatched love and appreciation of fish
and wildlife and this budget recognizes the need to actively manage these
priceless resources if they are to remain healthy.
"From the conservation of endangered species to management of the
National Wildlife Refuge System, the President's budget represents a
strong commitment to the work of the Service to conserve fish and
wildlife for the benefit of all."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency with
responsibility for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and
wildlife and their habitats. The Service manages the National Wildlife
Refuge System, which includes 512 national wildlife refuges and covers
nearly 93 million acres, as well as 64 national fish hatcheries.
The agency also enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird
populations, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, administers the
Endangered Species Act, and oversees the Federal Aid program that funnels
Federal excise taxes on angling and hunting equipment to state fish and
"The Service's priorities in the coming year include the effective
management of the Endangered Species Act, continued improvement in the
health of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and healing of our
Nation's degraded rivers and other aquatic ecosystems," said Service
Director Jamie Rappaport Clark. "The President's budget addresses each
of these priorities."
The proposed budget calls for $675.8 million for the Service's resource
management programs, an $80.9 million or 13.6 percent increase over 1998
The Administration proposes to increase overall funding for the National
Wildlife Refuge System $25.9 million, or 11.7 percent, to $246.4 million.
Within this amount, $199.8 million will be for refuge operations, an
increase of $15 million over FY 1998.
This will help fund 232 new projects at 152 refuges and wetland
management districts to recover endangered species; restore or improve
more than 54,000 acres of habitat; serve 1.1 million new visitors; expand
partnerships with public and private organizations; and hire 87 refuge
management, biological, and maintenance staff.
The President is also requesting $46.6 million for refuge maintenance,
which is $10.9 million, or 30 percent, above FY 1998 appropriations.
This will help reduce the system's longstanding maintenance backlog by
supporting approximately 200 maintenance projects at 140 refuges and
wetland management districts.
The President's budget also includes $60.5 million for land acquisition
that will add more than 43,000 acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The budget proposes $112.9 million for the Service's Endangered Species
program, an increase of $35.8 million, or 46 percent. The additional
funding will support more effective implementation of the Act, strengthen
partnerships with other public agencies and private interests, and
increase the flexibility and certainty provided to private landowners.
The new funding will be used to further Administration policies that take
advantage of the flexibility built into the Act to balance conservation
with economic development and to begin implementing any new statutory
requirements Congress might include in reauthorization of the Act. The
budget calls for an additional $2.5 million, or a 44 percent increase,
for the Candidate Conservation program to better manage threats to
declining species and their habitats before they require listing as
threatened or endangered.
To date, the Service has entered into 40 candidate conservation
agreements with private landowners and state and local governments,
benefitting more than 200 species and preventing the listing of 5
species. In FY 1999, the Service expects to implement additional
agreements that will help protect 80 more species and preclude the
listing of 20 new species.
The proposed budget for listing activities would climb $2.3 million, or
44 percent, to $7.5 million to address increasing numbers of listing
actions and litigation caseloads.
The consultation budget would increase $12.6 million, or 53 percent, to
$36.5 million, allowing the Service to review more than 40,000 Federal
actions and conduct 1,750 programmatic consultations affecting endangered
species. Another primary use of the increase would be to establish an
additional 100 to 175 habitat conservation plans, agreements with
landowners that allow economic development to continue while conserving
endangered species. The total number of HCPs -- both established and new
-- will cover hundreds of species on more than 9 million acres.
The President's budget for endangered species recovery efforts would
increase $13.4 million, or 31 percent, to $55.8 million to support "Safe
Harbor" agreements, develop recovery plans, and support reclassification
actions. The Service expects 150 Safe Harbor agreements will be in some
stage of development or implementation during FY 1999. These agreements
provide private landowners with assurances that voluntary conservation
actions taken on their land will not lead to further restrictions on
economic development in the future.
Included in the endangered species budget is $2 million to meet the
candidate conservation, listing, consultation, and recovery needs for the
Mexican spotted owl, southwestern willow flycatcher, and other wildlife
and plant species native to the Southwest under the Southwest Ecosystem
Initiative, a cooperative agreement with the Agriculture and Defense
Departments. The budget also provides additional funding for the Platte
River and Columbia River Basin programs.
The President also is proposing a $3 million, or 50 percent, increase in
assistance to the states for habitat conservation planning land
acquisition under the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund.
The Administration is proposing to increase funding for the Service's
Fisheries program by $4.4 million, or 6 percent. The additional funds
would be used to support the Southwest Ecosystem Initiative, aquatic
nuisance species control, aquatic habitat restoration projects, and
projects to improve fish passage in streams and rivers.
The Administration also is proposing an increase of $5.7 million, or 10
percent, to $64.9 million for the Service's habitat conservation
programs. An additional $900,000 would be used to address an additional
40 to 50 major water development projects that are scheduled for
relicensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The budget
would designate an additional $2.5 million for Partners for Fish and
Wildlife, a program to help private landowners voluntarily restore
wetlands on their property as part of the Clean Water and Watershed
Initiative. An additional $1 million is requested to assess how
pesticides and other contaminants are affecting wildlife and habitat on
national wildlife refuges.
Meanwhile, the budget proposes a $1.3 million increase, or 7 percent, for
the Service's migratory bird management programs. This includes $300,000
to support the Southwest Initiative, $400,000 to begin implementing the
recent amendments to the U.S.-Canada migratory bird protocol, and
$200,000 to address the problem of overabundant populations of snow geese
and the ecological damage they are doing to their arctic nesting grounds.
In addition, the budget includes a $3 million, or 26 percent, increase
for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, as part of the Clean
Water and Watershed Restoration Initiative, to support voluntary
partnerships to conserve and restore wetland ecosystems throughout North
America. The $14.7 million budget would generate an estimated $29
million in matching funds from partners and allow acquisition,
restoration, or enhancement of 245,000 acres of wetlands.
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From: Mitch Snow <email@example.com>
Subject: RECORD $1.4 BILLION BUDGET FOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE