Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obama looks to increase budget for public lands

Obama’s budget provides $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in 2017, making the program permanent and shifting some of its funding to mandatory accounts, the White House said on Tuesday. It also boosts funding to support the National Parks Service, which turns 100 years old in 2016, including an $860 million program to upgrade facilities across the system. A separate $235 million would go toward programs to support further NPS upgrades. The budget bumps funding for several climate-related programs, including wildfire prevention, water conservation and climate change resilience for communities along the oceans. Renewable energy development gets about $97 million in the budget, and a Bureau of Land Management onshore oil and gas program would see a 17 percent funding increase to “oversee safe, environmentally-sound resource development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers.” In total, Interior is looking for a $200 million increase in discretionary funding from 2016 levels...more

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