President Obama Proposes $13.4 Billion Budget for Interior Department

FY 2017 Budget Reflects Commitment to Conserve Natural, Cultural Resources, Responsibly Develop Domestic Energy, Support Sound Science and Meet Trust Responsibilities for Native Americans


Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: February 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request of $13.4 billion for the Department of the Interior reflects the Administration’s commitment to investing in communities, building partnerships and using science and innovation to create economic opportunities and sustain our natural, cultural and historic resources for future generations.  

The Department’s budget request supports meeting Federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Native Americans, conserves important landscapes across the nation, invests in the next century of the National Park Service, and allows for responsibly managing energy development on public lands and offshore areas. The Administration’s proposal also calls for legislative reforms that would generate $4.5 billion in savings over 10 years.
The Budget in Brief and fact sheet on the Interior Department’s FY17 budget are available HERE.

“This is a smart, innovative and forward-looking budget that invests in Interior’s key missions – now and in the future – so we can continue to serve the American people,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “The President’s budget provides targeted investments to create economic opportunities by growing our domestic energy portfolio, building climate-resilient communities, and revitalizing America’s national parks as we mark their 100th anniversary. Consistent with the President’s abiding commitment to Indian Country, this budget provides critical support for Tribal self-determination and economic advancement, including a historic transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education school system to help improve education for Indian children.”

The Interior Department’s activities contributed an estimated $360 billion in economic output nationally in 2014, supporting an estimated 2 million jobs. Energy and mineral development on Interior-managed lands and offshore areas generated more than $233 billion of this economic activity and supported nearly 1.1 million jobs. An estimated 423 million recreational visits to Interior lands contributed $42 billion and supported about 375,000 jobs nationwide. Water supply, grazing and timber activities, primarily on public lands in the West, contributed about $53.2 billion and supported nearly 400,000 jobs. 

The President’s proposed $13.4 billion in current discretionary funding for FY 2017 is an increase of $61 million over the FY 2016 enacted level. It includes $12.3 billion for Interior programs funded by the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriation, and $1.1 billion for Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project Completion Act, funded in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. 

The President’s FY2017 budget includes:

•    Continuing historic efforts to revitalize the Nation’s parks and public lands for the next century in recognition of the National Park Service Centennial;

•    Proposing $900 million a year for programs funded from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to bolster land conservation and access for hunters, anglers and recreationists, with full dedicated funding beginning in FY 2018.

•    Backing tribal priorities in Indian Country, including an investment of over $1 billion to transform Indian schools and education, as well as full and permanent funding for contract support costs to support tribal self-determination;

•    Implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan by developing renewable energy on public lands and waters; preparing communities for the impacts of climate change; and investing in science to support decision-making in natural resource management; 

•    Investing in the safety, reliability and efficiency of America’s water infrastructure and in innovative technologies to address droughts, especially in the arid West;

•    Supporting safe and responsible development of our nation’s oil, gas, coal and mineral resources; 

•    Strengthening sound science to provide impartial data to resource managers, planners and other decision-makers;

•    Engaging the next generation to play, learn, serve and work outdoors with approximately $100 million in investments toward youth programs and jobs, including the President’s Every Kid in a Park program; and

•    Supporting Insular Areas through climate resilient communities, fostering renewable energy development and eradicating invasive species.   

Among major reform initiatives, the budget:

•    Stabilizes funding for wildfire suppression, allowing for proactive fuels management and restoration, with flexibility to protect communities and ecosystems from the most catastrophic fires;

•    Helps communities prepare for a changing climate through a new 10-year, $2 billion mandatory Coastal Climate Resilience program, fully paid for by redirecting about half of the savings that result from the repeal of offshore oil and gas revenue sharing payments set to be paid to only four States under current law; and

•    Proposes changes to the Abandoned Mine Lands program and health and pension coverage for mineworkers, to help revitalize communities impacted by the continuing legacy of abandoned mine lands and strengthen the health and retirement security of coal miners and their families whose employers no longer contribute to their plans, as part of the President’s POWER+ Plan.

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