March 2023 Edition | Volume 77, Issue 3
Published since 1946
White House Releases FY24 Budget
The Biden Administration released its fiscal year 2024 budget proposal on March 9. The budget outlines funding and budget priorities across all federal departments and agencies, including natural resource, land, and fish and wildlife conservation programs. The Department of the Interior’s proposed budget totals $18.9 billion, a 12% increase or $2 billion over the FY2023 enacted budget, including a significant increase in wildland fire management, funding for efforts to address climate change and build resilience, and strengthen Tribal nations. It also focuses on increasing development of clean energy including offshore wind and onshore renewable energy.
“President Biden’s proposed budget builds on the historic investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to bolster our nation’s economy – generating jobs and supporting local and Tribal communities, building resilience to our changing climate, and managing important natural resources,” said DOI Secretary Deb Haaland. “At the Department, we will continue to implement our mission through a process that values close collaboration between federal, state, Tribal and local partners, with an eye toward historically marginalized and underrepresented communities that must never again feel left behind.”
The overall budget proposed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is $2.1 billion, including a $19.5 million increase for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and $624.9 proposed for the National Wildlife Refuge System. The proposed budget for the U.S. Geological Survey is $1.8 million, an increase of $288.3 above the current enacted funding level, while the proposed budget for the Bureau of Land Management is $1.7 billion and $3.8 billion proposed for the National Park Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed budget includes $1.2 billion for agricultural conservation programs to support climate resilience and improve farm environmental sustainability, as well as over $5 billion to restore national forests and mitigate wildfire risk. According to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement, “The President’s budget provides USDA with the tools needed to serve all Americans by providing effective, innovative science-based public policy leadership at home and around the world. It contains critical investments that will help rural communities provide the fuel, food, and fiber upon which our nation depends and will drive solutions that will lead to more market opportunities for producers. USDA will continue to invest in equitable systems and programming, increase landscape resiliency and help rural communities build resistance to the impacts of climate change, create more and better markets for our hardworking producers, bolster access to healthy and affordable nutrition for families, and connect all Americans to economic prosperity. This budget is a clear message of what President Biden values and demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to the success of Rural Americans and their communities.”
The release of the President’s budget starts the federal funding process which requires congressional action on spending bills before specific appropriations are allocated. The proposed budget marks a starting point on funding levels but rarely do the final appropriations match the specifics outlined.