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Appropriations


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Summary: House Committee Action on the Fiscal Year 2004 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill



On Wednesday, June 25, 2003, the House Appropriations Committee reported out the Fiscal Year 2004 Appropriations bill for Interior and Related Agencies passing the measure by voice vote. After adopting two technical amendments, the Committee reported out the bill on a voice vote. House floor action is not scheduled but is imminent.

House Subcommittee action took place on June 18. The Subcommittee adopted the measure with a voice vote, unanimously agreeing to its passage without amendment.

The President's budget request for discretionary appropriations in the Interior bill totaled $9.76 billion. The House Committee bill provides $9.67 billion for Interior programs. This is $96.3 million, or approximately one percent less than the President's budget, and $39.0 million or 0.4 percent above the 2003 enacted level.

The House bill funds most operational programs at or slightly above the President's budget. Land acquisition and grant programs are reduced from the request, as is funding for Departmental Offices. The House Committee provides significant increases above the President's budget for U.S. Geological Survey programs and the Office of Surface Mining's AML program.

For the priorities requested in the President's budget, the House provides the following:

Cooperative Conservation Initiative: The House increases CCI challenge cost share funding by $9 million over the 2003 level, including an additional $3 million each for BLM, FWS, and NPS. This is a reduction of $12.1 million from the President's request for challenge cost share. Overall, the CCI initiative is funded at $106.0 million, a reduction of $7.2 million from the President's budget request and $15.2 million above 2003. Aside from the challenge cost share component, the House mark includes:

  • $600,000 for the Take Pride in America program, reduced from the $1.0 million request;

  • $43.0 million for the FWS Partners for Fish & Wildlife program, an increase of $4.6 million from the request of $38.4 million, and $5.2 million more than 2003;

  • $10.3 million for the FWS Coastal program, an increase of $675,000 over the President's request and $707,000 below 2003 enacted;

  • $10.4 million for FWS' Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, the same as the request and $3.0 million over 2003.

Landowner Incentive and Private Stewardship Grants: The House continues funding for these two programs at the 2003 enacted and 2004 request levels of $40.0 million and $10.0 million.

FWS Conservation Grants: The House significantly reduces funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund from the request of $49.6 million to $24.6 million, a reduction of $13.7 million below 2003. In the House mark State and Tribal Wildlife grants are funded at $75.0 million, an increase of $15.0 million above the request and $10.4 million above 2003. The House provides $86.6 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, the same as the request and $6.1 million above 2003.

LWCF: The House funds the NPS State grants program at $97.5 million, decreasing the program $62.5 million below the request and funding it level with 2003. Federal land acquisition is funded at $70.7 million, a reduction of $72.3 million below the request level and $112.4 million below 2003. The House takes these reductions in line-item project funding and funds acquisition management, land exchange programs, emergencies and inholding funding at the request level.

Trust Programs: The House mark provides $494.0 million for the unified trust budget, a reduction of $60 million below the request, but $123.8 million above 2003. The House reduced the Administration's $130.0 million historical accounting request by $55.0 million to $75.0 million. This is an increase of $59.1 million above the 2003 level. The House provides $43.7 million for BIA's requested information technology investments, a reduction of $5.0 million from the request and $27.3 million above 2003.

BIA Schools: The House includes $292.6 million, the same as the President's budget request for replacement of seven schools and major facilities improvement and repair at eight schools. This reflects a proposed reduction of $1.2 million from the 2003 level. School operations is funded at $528.5 million, the same as the President's request and $16.0 million above 2003 including increases of $7.1 million for ISEP formula funds, $1.3 million for student transportation, $2.4 million for facilities operations, and $1.4 million for administrative cost grants.

NPS Backlog: The House includes $664.5 million for NPS facility maintenance and construction, a reduction of $41.3 million below the $705.8 million request and $16.0 million above 2003. This level of funding would be increased with an additional $75.0 million in recreation fees revenue dedicated to backlog projects and $300.0 million Federal Highway Administration funds for backlogged road projects proposed in the transportation bill reauthorization.

Natural Resource Challenge: The House funds the Natural Resource Challenge at the $76.1 million request level, an increase of $9.0 million over 2003.

National Wildlife Refuge System: The House provides $397.3 million for operation and maintenance of the refuge system, a decrease of $4.7 million from the request, but $29.9 million above 2003. Within this funding level, reductions made by the House include: $5.0 million for refuge maintenance and $2.0 million for a proposed land management research and demonstration program. Increases include $2.0 million for minimum staffing of refuges and $300,000 to restore Spartina grass control at the Willapa NWR, Washington.

Energy: For BLM's Energy and Minerals activity, the House funds $107.4 million, $1.5 million above the President's budget and the 2003 level. The House increase is to address the coalbed methane APD backlog. For MMS, the House provides a total of $271.6 million the same as the request and $1.0 million above 2003. This includes increases of $1.6 million for Gulf of Mexico workload, $3.9 million for the e-government transformation initiative (providing a total of $11.7 million), and $1.0 million for maintenance of the National Oil Spill Response Test Facility.

Wildland Fire: The House funds the Wildland Fire program at $698.7 million, level with the request and $48.6 million over the base 2003 appropriation. (The base excludes $189.0 million appropriated in 2003 to partially repay funds borrowed from construction and land acquisition accounts). The House realigns funding, increasing preparedness by $20.0 million, reducing suppression by $25.0 million and increasing burned area rehabilitation by $5.0 million.

For other Department-wide proposals, the House mark provides the following:

Uncontrollables: The House mark funds the $77 million request level, including absorption of 57% in pay costs.

Information Technology: The House mark supports the proposed $56.2 million reduction for information technology and the requested $13.8 million for IT security. The House does not fund the request of $13.8 million for the Financial and Business Management System.

More details on funding levels and legislative provisions included in the bill follow. A comparison of funding levels for bureaus is provided as Attachment 1. Attachment 2 provides a comparison of key numbers. Attachment 3 and Attachment 4 provide a summary of construction and land acquisition.

FUNDING LEVELS

Cooperative Programs

Cooperative Conservation Initiative
$000 House +/- House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
BLM Challenge Cost Share
13,882 20,973 16,882 +3,000 -4,091
Traditional
[8,973] [8,973] [8,973] [+58] [0]
Conservation Initiative
[4,967] [12,000] [7,909] [+2,942] [-4,091]
FWS Challenge Cost Share
6,831 11,876 9,876 +3,045 -2,000
Traditional
[1,864] [3,876] [1,876] [+12] [-2,000]
Conservation Initiative
[4,967] [8,000] [8,000] [+3,000] [0]
NPS Challenge Cost Share
11,902 20,980 14,974 +3,072 -6,006
Traditional
[1,974] [3,980] [2,7007] [+33] [-1,973]
Lewis and Clark
[4,961] [5,000] [5,000] [+39] [0]
Conservation Initiative
[4,967] [12,000] [7,967] [3,000] [-4,033]
FWS Invasives/Fisheries
1,987 0 0 -1,987 0
FWS partners for Fish & Wildlife
37,826 38,378 42,978 +5,152 +4,600
[Amount above for Invasive Species]
[8,112] [6,765] [7,065] [-1,047] [+300]
FWS Coastal Programs
11,021 9,639 10,314 -707 +675
FWS Migratory Bird Joint Ventures
7,369 10,355 10,355 +2,986 0
Take Pride in America
0 1,000 600 +600 -400
  6.7% -6.4%

The President's budget included $113.2 million for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative, including $53.8 million for challenge cost share programs, reflecting increases of $21.2 million over 2003. The House provides a total of $106.0 million for CCI, including $41.7 million for challenge cost share. Within the challenge cost share programs of BLM, NPS, and FWS, the House provides increases of $3.0 million each for the conservation initiative.

Aside from the challenge cost share component, the House mark includes:

  • $600,000 for the Take Pride in America program, reduced from the $1.0 million request;

  • $43.0 million for the FWS Partners for Fish & Wildlife program, an increase of $4.6 million from the request of $38.4 million, and $5.2 million more than 2003;

  • $10.3 million for the FWS Coastal program, an increase of $675,000 over the President's request and $707,000 below 2003 enacted;

  • $10.4 million for FWS' Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, the same as the request and $3.0 million over 2003.

Landowner Incentive Program/Stewardship Grants
$000 House +/-
House+/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Landowner Incentive
-37 40,000 40,000 +40,037 0
Stewardship Grants
-46 10,000 10,000 +10,046 0
Totals -83 50,000 50,000 +50,083 0
  -6,0341.0$ 0.0%

The President's budget included $40.0 million for Landowner Incentive grants and $10.0 million for Private Stewardship grants. The House mark funds both programs at the requested level.

Fish & Wildlife Service Grants
$000 House
+/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
CESCF 80,474 86,614 86,614 +6,140 0
NAWCF 38,309 49,560 24,560 -13,749 -25,000
Wildlife Grants
64,578 59,983 75,000 +10,422 +15,017
Multinational* Species Conservation
4,769 7,000 5,000 +231 -2,000
Neotropical Birds*
2,981 [3,000] 5,000 +2,109 +5,000
Totals 191,111 203,157 196,174 +5,063 -6,983
  +2.6% -3.4%

The President's budget requested $203.2 million for FWS conservation grants. The House reduces funding to $196.2 million as described below.

The President's budget included $86.6 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, a $6.1 million increase over 2003. The House funds CESCF grants at the requested level.

The budget request included $49.6 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, an $11.3 million increase over 2003. The House provides $24.56 million, only half of the requested funding and $13.8 million below 2003.

The budget request included $60.0 million for State and Tribal Wildlife grants, a $4.6 million decrease compared to 2003. The House funds this program at $75.0 million, an increase of $15.0 million above the requested level and $10.4 million above 2003.

The budget funded the Multinational Species Conservation Fund at $7.0 million, including $3.0 million for Neotropical Birds. The House funds the Multinational Species Conservation fund at $5.0 million, and provides separately $5.0 million for Neotropical Birds

Stateside LWCF Grants
$000 House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget`
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Grants 94,383 156,000 95,000 617 -61,000
Administration 2,980 4,011 2,500 -480 -1,511
Total 97,363 160,011 97,500 137 -62,511
  +.1% -39.1%

The President's budget requested $160.0 million for LWCF State grants composed of $156.0 million for grants and $4.0 million for administration of the program.

The House provides a total of $97.5 million including $95.0 million for grants and $2.5 million for administration. This funding level is $62.5 million or 39.1 percent below the 2004 request and essentially level with 2003.

Land Management Operations

National Park Service Operations
$000 
House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House
'03 Enacted
'04 Budget
ONPS 1,564,331 1,631,882 1,636,882 +72,551 +5,000
  +4.6% +0.3%

The President's 2004 budget request for NPS Operations included an increase of $67.6 million including the following: $16.4 million for park units bringing the total for park base operations to $998.8 million, $14.3 million for cyclic maintenance, and $13.8 million for the repair and rehabilitation program. Of the requested repair and rehabilitation increase, $7.6 million was for condition assessments and $1.6 million was for the Facility Management Software System.

The House mark funds park operations at $1.64 billion, an increase of $5.0 million above the President's budget request and $72.6 million above 2003.

The House mark includes the following changes from the request:

  • A reduction of $6.4 million from the request for park base providing an increase of $10.0 million over 2003;

  • A total of $569.2 million for facility maintenance and operations, $529,000 less than the request;

  • An increase of $3.0 million for resource restoration challenge cost share, $4.0 million less than the Administration's requested increase.

  • Restoration of $4.0 million for the Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative which the budget requested in USGS;

  • Elimination of the $1.0 million requested for a strategic business adviser; and

  • Disapproval of the $1.0 million requested for a volunteer-in-parks senior ranger program.

The House mark does not include $1.0 million requested through NPS for Take Pride in America, or public land volunteers. However, $600,000 was included in Departmental Management for this initiative.

NPS Natural Resource Challenge
$000  House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Natural Resource Challenge
67,109 76,072 76,072 +8,963 0
  +13.4% 0.0%

The 2004 budget request included a total of $76.1 million for the Natural Resource Challenge, an increase of $9.0 million from the 2003 enacted level. The House funds the Administration's budget request.

Everglades Restoration
$000  House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
 '04 Budget
Everglades 84,555 112,314 87,937 3,382 -24,377
  -100% -100%

The 2004 budget request included $112.3 million for Everglades activities, an increase of $27.8 million over the 2003 enacted level. The request included $40.0 million to acquire the Collier family mineral rights in Big Cypress National Preserve, which was offset by a reduction of $20.0 million for grants to the State of Florida.

The House provides $87.9 million for Everglades, $24.4 million less than the request, eliminating funding for acquisition of the Collier mineral rights. The House also disallows the proposed consolidation of Everglades research in USGS and funds the $4.0 CESI program in NPS.

U.S. Park Police
$000  House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Park Police
77,921 78,859 78,859 +938 0
  1.2% 0.0%

The President's budget requested $78.9 million for the U.S. Park Police, including an additional $12.6 million for counter-terrorism measures and a reduction of $12.7 million reflecting discontinuation of one-time project funding provided in the first 2002 supplemental. The House funds the Administration's budget request.

Fish and Wildlife Service
$000  House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Resource Management
911,466 941,526 959,901 +48,435 +18,375
  5.3% 2.0%

The President's budget funded FWS operations at $941.5 million, a $30.1 million increase over the 2003 enacted level. The budget proposed key program increases including: $3.3 million for listing activities, $33.6 million for National Wildlife Refuge System operations and maintenance, $3.5 million for migratory bird and law enforcement programs, and $3.9 million for hatchery operations and maintenance.

Overall, the House provides $959.9 million, $18.4 million more than the request and $48.4 million more than 2003.

The House mark includes the following changes from the request:

  • An increase of $5.7 million for Endangered Species programs, as discussed in the next section of the summary;

  • An increase of $4.6 million for the Partners program, including $1.4 million for the Washington regional fisheries enhancement groups, $1.5 million for Walla Walla Basin fish passage and salmon recovery efforts, $1.0 million for restoration in the Tunkhannock and Bowman's Creek watersheds in Pennsylvania, and $700,000 for Willapa Bay, Washington spartina grass control;

  • An increase of $300,000 for Portland Metro Greenspaces;

  • An increase of $675,000 for coastal programs, including: $175,000 for the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, $200,000 for Long Live the Kings, and $300,000 to continue funding provided in 2003 for the Tampa and Florida panhandle field offices;

  • A net reduction of $4.7 million for Refuge Operations and Maintenance, including: a decrease of $2.0 million for the proposed land management research and demonstration program, a decrease of $5.0 million for refuge maintenance, an increase of $ 2.0 million to continue Òminimum staffingÓ implementation, and $300,000 to restore the Spartina grass control program at the Willapa NWR, Washington.

  • An increase of $1.75 million for law enforcement operations of which $1.0 million is for wildlife inspectors and the northern and southern borders and $750,000 is for the operation of the Atlanta, GA port of entry.

  • An increase of $1.0 million for hatchery operation and maintenance, including: a decrease of $1.0 million for hatchery operations, an increase of $3.0 million for the Washington State hatchery improvement project, and a decrease of $1.0 million for general maintenance activities.

  • Fish and wildlife assistance increases totaling $8.6 million including: $4.0 million for fish passage/cooperative projects, $900,000 for sea lamprey program administration, $2.4 million to restore Yukon River salmon treaty implementation, $500,000 for the Great Lakes fish and wildlife restoration, $1.6 million for mass marking machines for hatchery fish, and $1.2 million for the marine mammals program.

  • An increase of $400,000 for operations and maintenance at NCTC.

The report language also notes that the FWS Cost Allocation Methodology needs to be fully justified and changes to CAM must be more transparent.

FWS Endangered Species Program
$000  House +/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House
'03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Candidate Conservation
9,867 8,670 9,920 +53 +1,250
Listing 9,077 12,286 12,286 +3,209 0
Consult/HCP 47,460 45,734 47,734 +274 +2,000
Recovery 65,412 62,029 64,529 -883 +2,500
Totals 131,816 128,719 134,469 +2,653 +5,750
  0.5% 14.4%

The President's budget included a total of $128.7 million for the endangered species program, a $3.0 million reduction compared to 2003. The request included $12.3 million for listing activities, an increase of almost $3.3 million. This included $8.9 million for critical habitat designations.

The House provides a total of $134.5 million, an increase of $5.75 million over the request and $2.7 million above 2003. This includes an increase of $1.25 million over the request level for candidate conservation activities, including $300,000 for the Idaho Sage Grouse, $150,000 for the Kootenai River Burbot, $750,000 for Alaska Sea Otter Research, and $50,000 for Slickspot Peppergrass in Idaho.

The listing program is funded at the request level, $3.2 million above 2003. The House includes proposed bill language with a cap of $12.3 million for listing and a subcap of $8.9 million for critical habitat.

The consultation program is funded at $47.7 million, an increase of $2.0 million over the request. The House added these funds to continue funding for the Natural Communities Conservation Plan proposed for reduction in the President's budget.
Recovery is funded at $64.5 million, an increase of $2.5 million over the request and $883,000 below 2003. The House added $500,000 for Tri-State Wolf Monitoring and $2.0 million for Pacific Salmon Grants through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Bureau of Land Management Operations
$000  House
+/-
House +/-
  '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
House '03 Enacted
'04 Budget
Management of Lands & Resources
820,345 828,079 834,088 +13,743 +6,009
O&C Grant Lands
104,946 106,672 106,672 +1,726 0
Total, BLM Ops
925,291 934,751 940,760 +15,469 +6,009
  +1.7% +0.6%

The 2004 President's budget provided $934.8 million for BLM operations, a net increase of $9.5 million over the 2003 enacted level. The budget included program increases to facilitate and stimulate energy development on public lands; reinvigorate forestry management programs to increase timber production and forest health treatments; enhance resource protection and restoration; improve recreational opportunities, access, and services on public lands; and strengthen law enforcement capabilities. The 2004 budget request included a $2.0 million reduction to the Alaska Conveyance program and reductions of $2.8 million to be offset through cost recovery proposals.

The House funds BLM operations at $940.8 million, an increase of $6.0 million above the budget request and $15.5 million above the 2003 enacted level. Generally, the House Committee supports the program increases requested in the President's Budget and accepts the proposed decreases.

House changes from the President's budget include the following:

  • An increase of $2.0 million above the budget request for Land Resources, including $1.0 million for the San Pedro Partnership and $1.0 million to continue an increase provided in 2003 for rangeland health monitoring and grazing permitting;

  • For Recreation Management, $1.0 million above the request for Otay Mountains management;

  • An additional $1.5 million for Energy and Minerals for the coalbed methane APD backlog. Because of funding increases provided by Congress in 2003, this is $850,000 over the 2003 level. Likewise, because of increases provided in 2003 for geothermal energy, the House's recommendation to fund the 2004 request level represents a $50,000 decrease from the 2003 enacted;

  • An increase of $3.6 million for Resource Protection and Maintenance continues addons funded in 2003 and not included in the President's budget, including $1.0 million for implementation of the Mojave Desert resource management plan, $1.0 million to address environmental degradation associated with illegal immigration, $600,000 for California Desert rangers, and $1.0 million for Imperial Sand Dunes law enforcement.

  • For Transportation and Maintenance, an increase of $2.0 million over the request continues the repair and replacement of fish passage barriers (culverts) at the 2003 level.

  • For Challenge Cost Share, the Committee reduced funding by $4.1 million below the request. This still represents an increase of $3.0 million above the 2003 enacted level