PRESIDENT SEEKS MORE THAN $1.3
BILLION FOR U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE IN 2005 BUDGET
Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton,
202.208.5634 February 2, 2004
President George W. Bush is requesting more than $1.3 billion
-- $22.6 million
more than last year, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
2005 budget. The
request represents the administrations continuing commitment to
Americas natural resources and support conservation partnerships
communities across the country.
Among the key features of this budget package are an increase
for partnership and
cost-share grant programs under the Presidents Cooperative
Initiative, and $2 million for a new Science Excellence Initiative.
increases for hatcheries and migratory bird programs help to round
out a package
that will allow the Service to conserve, with its partners, the
nature of America.
"President Bushs budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service illustrates his
continued strong commitment to protect and conserve our nations
wildlife and its habitat," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
"In particular, the
budget significantly boosts funding to support partnerships with
local communities, private landowners and others to protect and
fisheries, recover species, and increase opportunities for Americans
to enjoy our
New funding in the 2005 budget to support the
Cooperative Conservation Initiative includes:
An increase of $20.4 million for a total of $50 million
Landowner Incentive Grants that provide state and tribal fish
wildlife agencies grant funds needed to establish or expand habitat
protection and restoration programs on private land for "at
An increase of $2.6 million for a total of $10 million
Stewardship Grant programs that provide cost-share grants to
landowners for wildlife conservation.
An increase of $10.9 million for a total of $80 million
for the State
and Tribal Wildlife Grants Fund that aids wildlife conservation
State and Tribal lands.
An increase of $16.5 million for a total of $54 million
North American Wetlands Conservation Fund that provides
matching grants to private or public organizations and individuals
to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States,
Canada, and Mexico.
Increases of $8.4 million for a total of $90 million for
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund that helps
states increase participation in a wide array of voluntary
conservation projects for candidate, proposed and listed species.
The states award these funds to private landowners and groups
Increases of $2.2 million for a total of $12 million for
Wildlife Refuge Systems Challenge Cost Share program that
provides grants that match federal and private funds for
conservation projects on refuges.
New funding of $5 million for the High Plains Partnership
the Partners for Fish and Wildlife programs. This is a publicprivate
collaboration initiated to pro-actively conserve declining
species and their habitats and preclude the need for further species
listings. The 2005 requested increase will allow the Service to
pursue this effort with state fish and game agencies in the 11
plain states, agencies within the Department of Agriculture, private
conservation organizations and private landowners. Sage grouse
conservation efforts will receive $300,000 of this money. The
Upper Klamath Basin Restoration, another conservation initiative,
will receive an increase of $6.2 million. The initiative will
habitat restoration, removal of fish migration barriers, land
acquisition and diminish the likelihood of water crises.
An increase of $2.9 million for a total of $13.1 million
Programs grants for on-the- ground conservation of wetlands and
tidal lands. Controlling invasive species will be a significant
of this program in 2005.
"The most effective conservation projects are the ones that
are conceived and
carried out at the local level, by the people who live and work
on the land,"
Norton said. "Our goal is to empower the American people
to become citizenconservationists,
working together to achieve what the government alone cannot
The budget request of $2 million for the Science Excellence Initiative
is one of
Director Steve Williams priorities. Science excellence is
the foundation for all of
the Services work. Through this initiative, the Service will be
taking many steps
to increase our ability to acquire and apply science in the conservation
nations fish and wildlife resources. The budget for this
initiative is divided up
into two components. One million dollars will be used to shape
to the science of natural resource conservation. The remainder
will be used to
bolster the resources of our partners to help the Service better
shape the direction
of conservation efforts and to meet the changing needs of science-based
The ever-escalating complexity of natural resource conservation
scientific information that is rigorous, timely and relevant.
supports the underpinnings of good science, promotes good decision
supports continuous learning and professional development, as
well as stronger
partnerships with other Federal or state natural resource agencies,
organizations, and private industry, Williams said.
Other notable parts of the Services 2005 budget:
The Migratory Bird Management program would receive more
than a $4.5 million increase for permits and monitoring. This
be an important step towards identifying and meeting the needs
the program. An increase of $1.2 million, for a total of $11.4
million for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan will
help manage waterfowl as well as the 15 Joint Ventures around
country. This successful model for achieving migratory bird
conservation goals through cooperation and consultation with
partners has increased the interest and number of potential
The Endangered Species program will receive an extra $5.0
million, for a total of more than $17.2 million, in its listing
to alleviate the backlog in dealing with new listings and critical
habitat designations. This program has been subject to a great
of litigation in recent years, particularly in regards to designation
of critical habitat for already listed species. This increase
address litigation-driven workloads and should also provide
additional funding to address other high-priority actions that
not the subject of litigation.
An increase of nearly $1 million for a total of nearly
will help address maintenance needs at national fish hatcheries.
The budget also provides an increase of $1 million for hatchery
operations, for a total of $40.1 million.
The National Wildlife Refuge Systems Law Enforcement
would increase more than $3 million.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency
conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants
and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service
manages the 95-
million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses
more than 542
national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other
management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries,
64 fishery resource
offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency
wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages
populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves
wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments
conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program
hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and
to state fish and wildlife agencies.
For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our homepage at http://www.fws.gov
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