10:55 PM

Obama Administration Proposes Increased Funding for Conservation, Climate Change Resilience and Clean Energy Programs in 2016 Budget

Washington (February 2, 2015) ­­–– The Obama administration has released its 2016 budget proposal, which calls for an increase of $74 billion over destructive sequester cuts in recent years. The president’s budget includes significant increases in funding for climate change resilience, clean energy development and conservation of our lands, water and wildlife. In particular, it includes a combined $100 million for the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for coastal climate change resilience programs, $78 million for protecting vital sagebrush steppe habitat, nearly a $35 million increase for the National Wildlife Refuge System and full funding for America’s Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The president’s budget is a fiscally responsible approach to ending damaging sequestration cuts, investing in our natural heritage and addressing climate change impacts in the United States. It restores critical funding to programs that protect and manage our nation’s wildlife and habitat and build resiliency of natural lands against flooding, drought and extreme storms. These are exactly the kind of forward-looking investments we need to protect our communities and ensure a thriving natural landscape for future generations.

“The budget also shows that the Obama administration understands the value of the iconic sagebrush steppe, vital habitat for 350 species of conservation concern, 60 of which are either listed or candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Continued funding should be paired with strong science-based conservation measures to protect and restore sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent wildlife, especially on public lands.

“This budget makes a serious commitment to protecting our lands and wildlife, investing in clean energy and providing for climate change resilience. It’s high time that Congress recognize the importance of these critical programs, fund them fully and make the current devastating sequestration cuts a thing of the past.”