Trump Budget Proposal: A Sell Out of Our Wildlife Heritage
- Endangered Species: Cuts in the Trump budget could undermine protection of threatened and endangered species, increasing the likelihood of more extinctions. Even before any further cuts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service receives less than 25% of the funding it needs to implement recovery actions for listed species. In addition, more than 330 listed species do not even have final recovery plans. Permitting for infrastructure, renewable energy and other activities of national importance may be delayed. And a plan developed by FWS to prioritize more than 350 species for listing decisions would likely be disrupted.
- National Wildlife Refuges: Cuts in the Trump budget could further hinder management of our National Wildlife Refuge System. Habitat restoration, control of invasive species, and use of prescribed fire, which is used on refuges both to improve habitat for wildlife and to reduce hazardous fuels that pose a wildfire risk to nearby communities, will likely all be further reduced. Refuge law enforcement officers, already at only 30 percent of the number needed may be cut even further. Fewer services will be available for the 48 million people who visit our national wildlife refuges annually and who generate $2.4 billion to local and regional economies.
- Wildlife Trafficking: Cuts in the Trump budget could undercut the progress made in recent years combating the illegal trafficking of wildlife and wildlife parts that is leading to the extermination of several iconic species including elephants and rhinos.
- Harmful Border Wall: Even as the Trump budget decimates funding for programs that conserve our natural heritage, it proposes billions in funding for a wall along our southwest border that will cause irreparable harm to communities, land and wildlife. The wall could affect 89 threatened or endangered species, including critically endangered jaguars and Mexican gray wolves, 108 species of migratory birds and national parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and other public lands.
- Public Lands: Budget reductions would have harmful impacts on wildlife conservation and imperiled species recovery programs in our nation's public lands agencies. These programs are essential for balancing resource use with protecting wildlife, watersheds, and other public values on national forests, grasslands and deserts across the country. Underfunding these programs will delay land management planning and implementation important to all stakeholders, and undermine collaborative conservation efforts on tens of millions of acres of public lands.
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.