Sweeping budget sequestration. A complete shutdown of the federal government. Fiscal year 2013 was tough for federal funding of conservation programs, which saw sustained cuts and more uncertainty. But a series of bipartisan breakthroughs in late 2013 and early 2014, namely the passage of a two year budget outline and the subsequent passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, restored regular order to the appropriations process for the foreseeable future and also prioritized federal conservation program spending in fiscal year 2014. Despite the return to budgetary normalcy implemented by the Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 2014, however, the TRCP still faces an uphill battle as it works within the confines of an extremely frugal spending environment on conservation spending for 2015 and beyond.
As appropriators work toward crafting a budget deal for fiscal year 2015, the TRCP is fully engaged to ensure full and fair funding to vital conservation programs.
As we move toward a crucial time in the appropriations process, the TRCP continues to bring the voice of sportsmen to bear on the importance of robust funding for fish and wildlife habitat conservation programs. Ensuring that Congress and the Obama administration understand the economic importance of America’s outdoor recreation and the link between that economy and our investment in conservation is of paramount importance.
In January of 2014, Congress passed a comprehensive Omnibus Appropriations Bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2014, marking a significant step toward returning to a normal budget and appropriations process. The TRCP was instrumental in ensuring increased funding to a number of key conservation programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program, each of which had been proposed for dramatic funding reductions. The National Wildlife Refuge System also received a healthy 4 percent increase in funding, bringing the total dollar amount from $454 million to $472 million.
Sportsmen must remain vigilant, as it would be incredibly easy for elected officials to revert back to old habits. In the near future, we face a variety of funding challenges, including the depletion of US Forest Service conservation accounts due to the phenomena often referred to as fire borrowing and the rising cost of wildfire suppression. The TRCP has been highly engaged in supporting The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act to cultivate increased budgetary adaptability to more effectively fund wildfire suppression while simultaneously restoring effective forestry management programs that ensure healthy wilderness and habitat throughout the United States. The TRCP will continue working to unite organizations and individuals behind a shared belief that investments in natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation are vital to the future of our great nation.
Today, we celebrate 113 years of kids holding their first fish, birds finding a safe haven for nesting, boots getting muddy just miles outside the city, and conservation advancing on 560 National Wildlife Refuges across the country. Read Full Story on the TRCP Website
Our chief conservation officer writes about a family road trip, where his daughters shared the backseat with their smartphones before discovering the wonder of a weekend at the lake. These kinds of experiences have us questioning how we can make technology work for wildlife, fish, and Americans who rely on public land. Read Full Story on the TRCP Website
Sportsmen and -women understand that the LWCF is essential to the future of hunting and fishing in the U.S. Speak up in support of the LWCF. Take Action
Jewell discussed the power of hunter and angler voices in Washington and her dedication to public lands access and sage-grouse restoration at annual barbecue on the Potomac Read More
Annual report highlights 2015 growth and success in service of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish Read More
America’s 640 million acres of federal public lands are the backbone of our rich outdoor heritage. However, some would sell off YOUR public lands to the highest bidder and close off sportsmen’s access forever. Download the Report
A 50-year legacy of increased access and improved habitat. Download the Report