Obama proposes $1.1 billion toward natural resource protection

President Obama proposed $1.1 billion in appropriations for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in fiscal year 2011. Focusing on renewable energy development and climate change adaptation, this budget request is an $8 million increase from BLM’s fiscal year 2010 enacted funding level. The agency plans to focus primarily on the new energy frontier, climate change adaptation, treasured landscapes and youth in natural resources initiatives.
To encourage renewable energy development, the budget includes a $3 million increase from fiscal year 2010’s $16.1 million increase toward environmental studies for solar energy projects in Nevada and potential wind energy zones in Oregon and Nevada. It also includes a $2 million increase in BLM’s soil, water and air management program for air quality monitoring targeted to areas with current or anticipated intensive oil and gas development.
A $2.5 million increase from fiscal year 2010’s $15 million increase is proposed to develop strategies for the adaptation of native plants and animal communities to climate change, while a $13.1 million increase is allotted to land acquisition projects. Totaling $37.8 million, the treasured landscapes initiative funds will add federal protection to 25,679 acres of land with key species and habitat, as well as lands with historical and cultural significance.
For fiscal year 2010, BLM received a $5 million increase toward programs that engage youth in natural resource management last year. In fiscal year 2011, the agency will continue to fund the partnerships that promote stewardship, conservation and public service, while directing $1 million to support a new public-private partnership program with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Budget decreases include a reduction of $8.2 million for resource management planning; a $5 million reduction in the Oregon and California lands management program; and a $13 million reduction in the Alaska land conveyance program. For more information, visit www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2010/february/NR_02_01_2009.html. ◊

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