Overview of the issue
Annual funding for conservation spans across a wide range of departments and agencies and touches upon nearly every aspect of our daily lives. The federal budget sustains the nation’s natural resources, protects public health and supports critical components of the nation’s built infrastructure. From the water we drink to the air we breathe to the health of the nation’s fish and wildlife populations – the conservation and environmental portions of the federal budget play a critical role. Yet, this all-encompassing portion of the federal budget has continued to shrink from approximately 2% in the 1970’s to now closer to 1% of all federal funds dedicated to non-defense, discretionary spending. Over the last 40 years, conservation as a percentage of the federal budget has been cut in half.
Why does TRCP care?
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 strong annual funding for conservation and fish and wildlife habitat programs. Ensuring that Congress and the incoming Trump administration understand the importance of America’s outdoors recreation economy and the link between that economy and our investment in conservation is of paramount importance. TRCP has been engaged since 2011 along with a core coalition of our partner organizations and more than 1,200 organizations nationwide to both educate decision makers and sustain our federal natural resources budgets. While Congress is currently slated to kick the can this year on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget (current budget year) by approving a mid-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government until next spring, we are already beginning to ramp up with our partners to ensure both the FY 2017 and FY 2018 budgets include strong funding levels for conservation.
Learn more about our work with America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation, and Preservation (AVCRP).