Yesterday, the Trump Administration submitted its budget request for Fiscal Year 2021 to Congress. Unfortunately, this request proposes deep and counterproductive cuts in conservation, environmental protection, and public land management – just like the last three years. Once again, the administration’s proposal jeopardizes public health and the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy.
It’s clear that this administration just does not prioritize conservation. Under the proposed budget, agencies that safeguard our natural resources would not have the financial resources to carry out their missions.
The Department of the Interior, which oversees national parks and national wildlife refuges, would see its budget cut by 13%. The Department of Agriculture’s budget would be reduced by 8% from current funding levels, with deep cuts proposed for conservation programs that help protect water quality, habitat for fish and wildlife, and wetlands nationwide. And, just as in previous years, the Environmental Protection Agency takes the biggest hit: the nonpartisan office responsible for protecting human health and the environment would see its funding gutted by nearly 27%.
League staff are still analyzing budget details for all of the agencies and programs with jurisdictions affecting water, agriculture, wildlife, and the environment – but the top-level line items make it clear that this proposal does not reflect Americans’ conservation values. The work of League members and partners to engage Congress will now take on even greater importance as we push our elected representatives to pass an alternative budget that provides sufficient funding to protect our natural resources. That’s a spending plan we all can agree on: Investments in conservation, clean air, and clean water are investments in public health, outdoor recreation, and the economy.
Check back soon for further updates on funding levels for key conservation programs across departments and agencies. Meanwhile, read more about why budgets matter.