$12 Billion Interior Budget Focuses on New Energy Frontier, Climate Impacts, America's Treasured Landscapes, a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps, and Native American Communities



05/07/2009


Contact: Frank Quimby, (202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama’s proposed $12 billion budget for the Department of the Interior in FY2010 will allow the nation’s largest land manager to play a central role in carrying out the President’s vision for addressing the challenges of our times, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.

“Interior is uniquely positioned to be a leader in responsibly developing America’s new energy frontier, tackling climate impacts, restoring and preserving America’s treasured landscapes, creating a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps, and investing in strong tribal communities,” Salazar said in announcing the agency’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2009. “The President’s stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has provided Interior $3 billion to lay a foundation for this work and his 2010 budget will build on that with targeted increases in key areas.”

The 2010 budget for Interior makes investments critical to the Nation’s economic future including:

 “The budget makes hard budget choices while making wise investments in a clean energy economy, making investments in education that will allow student to compete in the 21st century economy, and confronting other challenges,” Secretary Salazar noted. “These proposed initiative increases include more than $100 million in grants to states and tribal communities, our partners in solving the economic and resource challenges facing the Nation.”

Interior manages roughly 20 percent of all U.S. lands, along with the 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf. Almost one-third of the nation’s domestic energy production is generated from Interior-managed lands and waters. Interior also fulfills federal responsibilities for American Indian and Native Alaskan tribes.

Creating a New Energy Frontier: The Budget includes $50.1 million to spur renewable energy projects on Federal lands, facilitate the siting of new transmission facilities, assess alternative energy resources, and ensure adequate environmental protections.

As part of the nation’s clean energy future, the Minerals Management Service would receive increases of $24 million for the development of a robust renewable energy leasing program on the Outer Continental Shelf that will return revenues to the American people. The Bureau of Land Management would receive an increase of $16.1 million for permitting and leasing renewable energy resources and developing transmission facilities, including planning, environmental assessments and analyses. The BLM will use $11 million of that increase to establish four renewable Energy Coordination offices to increase permitting processing capacity and accelerate the delivery of renewable energy to customers.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs would receive $5 million to support renewable energy development on tribal and BIA-managed lands, which will lead to improved economic development. About $3 million would be used for the USGS to develop scientific information that will inform renewable energy development. The Fish and Wildlife Service would receive $3 million to ensure the protection of fish and wildlife throughout the development process.

Tackling Climate Impacts: Because Interior has direct responsibility for more than 20 percent of the U.S. land, including American Indian and Native Alaska trust natural resources, wildlife and coastal areas and is the largest provider of water in the West, the Department has a significant role to play in the nation’s response to climate change, including an expanded role in assessment and adaptation in order to protect these resources for future generations.  

The initiative includes targeted increases of $22 million for the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a cohesive monitoring strategy to determine impacts on Interior-managed lands, water and wildlife resources and assist land and water managers in devising strategies to address actual and anticipated changes. This includes an increase of $7 million for the USGS to assess potential carbon capture (sequestration) resources, including geologic formations and additional forestation and vegetation projects. An additional $40 million goes to land management bureaus to develop specific tools to address the effects of climate change. The States will also receive $40 million in grants to develop adaptation plans and implement strategies. These funds will allow States to plan for and develop adaptation strategies.

In addition, the Bureau of Reclamation budget includes $46 million to accelerate water conservation measures through grants, studies and water reuse and recycling programs, including an increase of $26 million for water challenge conservation grants. These water conservation strategies will assist Western communities in the management of precious water resources.

Empowering American Indian and Native Alaska Communities:  Because education is critical for ensuring a stable, viable and prosperous future for tribal communities, the 2010 budget fulfills the Department’s ongoing commitment to advancing American Indian and Native Alaska education with an increase of $72 million to promote gains in student achievement and assist Indian students in attaining post-secondary education. The budget includes an increase of $10 million for Indian School Equalization Program (ISEP) Formula Funds, the primary source for the Bureau of Education’s 169 elementary and secondary schools and 14 dorms that serve about 42,000 students and residents. The total 2010 request of $391.7 million for ISEP formula funds also includes increases of $6.7 million in fixed costs for teachers pay.  Tribal colleges and universities are receiving a $55 million increase in 2010, including a one-time increase of $50 million that will forward-fund the tribal colleges to provide them greater financial security to plan for an entire academic year. The budget also includes increased funding for BIA law enforcement of more than $30 million to help Native Americans protect their communities by strengthening police programs and detention centers. 

Protecting Treasured Landscapes: The proposed 2010 budget demonstrates the President’s commitment to preserving America’s treasured landscapes for future generations. The budget makes investments for the future in national parks with a $100 million program increase in National Park Service operations funding and $25 million in park partnership matching funds to leverage private donations in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. The NPS matching funds will result in a combined benefit to NPS of more than $50 million for signature projects and programs, thus doubling the Federal investment. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund:The 2010 budget takes a measured approach to fulfill the commitment for fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It includes $420 million (including $120 million for U.S. Forest Service), putting the Administration on track to attain full funding of LWCF at $900 million by 2014. Interior’s 2010 funding includes $158 million – an increase of $57 million over 2009 – for protecting and preserving park, refuge, and other Federal lands through 17 projects in nine states. The department also will distribute $30 million – an increase of $10 million above the 2009 enacted level -- for State, tribal and local governments to create and protect park land, open space and wildlife habitat.  

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund: $100 million – an increase of $24.5 million -- for grants to States to support conservation of threatened and endangered species. Through a cost effective program, funds are leveraged by States, who can in turn, can distribute this funding to tribes, municipalities and private landowners.

Creating a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps: The budget includes $50 million to develop new ways to engage youth in nature in order to build an ethic for environmental protection. It makes an investment in the future and builds on existing efforts in the bureaus to instill a life-long commitment to protecting, preserving and enjoying our treasured lands and places. About $30 million will educate young hunters and anglers and wildlife managers through expanded U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs, with a special emphasis on emerging constituencies that have not had access to outdoor activities. A $20 million component will expand existing partnerships with organizations, such as the Student Conservation Association, to inspire a new generation of nature lovers and stewards of our natural resources.

By the Numbers

Total proposed funding by bureau is as follows:

Bureau of Indian Affairs  $2.5 billion
National Park Service $2.7 billion
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service $1.6 billion
Bureau of Reclamation $1.0 billion
Central Utah Project Completion $42 million
Bureau of Land Management $1.1 billion
Minerals Management Service $181 million
U.S. Geological Survey $1.1 billion
Office of Surface Mining $159 million
Office of Insular Affairs $86 million
Office of Special Trustee for American Indians $186 million
Department wide Programs $1.1 billion
Departmental Management $119 million

 

Permanent funding that becomes available as a result of existing legislation without further action by Congress will provide an additional $6.1 billion, for a total FY 2010 Interior budget of $18.2 billion. In FY 2010, Interior will collect an estimated $14 billion in revenue for the U.S. Treasury.

More detailed information is in the FY2008 Interior Budget in Brief which is available online at: http://www.doi.gov/budget/2010/10Hilites/toc.html.