DOINews: All DOI Employees: Launch of FY 2016 Budget for Department of the Interior

Last edited 09/05/2019

February 2, 2015

To: All Department of the Interior Employees

From: Secretary Sally Jewell

Subject: Launch of FY 2016 Budget for Department of the Interior

Budget season is a great time to reflect on the Department of the Interior's incredible breadth of responsibilities and impacts on the Nation. I am proud of the 70,000 employees that carry out the work of this Department. I appreciate your dedication to the Department's mission and making sure our programs and services deliver impacts for our Nation.

The President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request reflects the importance of the Department's mission to the American people. The budget requests $13.2 billion for the Department, an 8 percent increase over the FY 2015 enacted level. This funding will support the Department's core missions, protect the Nation's cultural and natural heritage, responsibly manage energy development on public lands and waters, invest in science, and honor the Nation's trust responsibilities to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and special commitments to affiliated island communities.

This budget will help create jobs, boost the economy, and provide a better quality of life for our Nation. It provides investments in people and programs with far-reaching impact for the future. And, it includes important investments for each of our bureaus and offices. Budget highlights include:

  • Investing $1 billion to transform Indian schools and education, and maintain the Administration's strong support for the principle of tribal self-determination and strengthening tribal nations across Indian Country by meeting the Federal Government's responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, promoting opportunities for Native youth, and strengthening tribal education, economies and resiliency;
  • Launching a historic effort to invest in our Nation's parks and public lands for the next century in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial;
  • Proposing full and permanent funding of $900 million a year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to bolster land conservation, sportsmen's access, and recreation across the Nation;
  • Investing in the safety, reliability, and efficiency of America's water infrastructure and in conservation, reuse, and applied science to address the Nation's water supply challenges, especially in the arid West;
  • Implementing the President's Climate Action Plan by developing renewable energy on public lands and waters; and preparing communities for the impacts of climate change;
  • Robust funding for science to inform land management decisions, to advance a landscape-level understanding of ecosystems, and to identify new strategies in response to climate change;
  • Powering our future through responsible development of the Nation's resources; and
  • Creating new opportunities and jobs in Abandoned Mine Land communities, and ensure the health and retirement security of coal miners and their families as part of the Administration's POWER+ Plan and overall efforts to target assistance to coal communities and workers, address important legacy costs in coal country, and drive the development and deployment of lower carbon coal technology.

I am proud of the investments the FY 2016 budget makes in the Department of the Interior and our employees. Since I became Secretary, I have met many of you and heard about the challenges that you face in delivering your mission due to constrained resources. The request provides continued funding for core operations. It also provides additional on the ground resources to support mission delivery. During the weeks and months ahead, I will be advocating on your behalf for the resources that you need.

With the release of the President's budget, I hope each of you will take time today to recognize the important role you play in achieving the Department's mission for the American people. Thank you to the many people who helped craft the budget and to each of you who carry out its programs.

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