“Today, even as we face a global extinction crisis, President Trump doubled down on abandoning the nation’s commitment to wildlife protections, science, and our natural heritage in his reckless pursuit of development of domestic energy sources,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “The consequences to our wildlife will last for generations. This proposal is grossly out of touch with bipartisan public opinion.” 

Washington, DC

Yesterday, President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2021 that significantly cuts programs that conserve wildlife, support science and address climate change. In addition, this budget provides increases for energy development on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, provides additional funding for the construction of the border wall, and prioritizes commercial logging on federal lands. This request comes on the heels of recent attacks by the administration on clean water, migratory birds, endangered species and evaluating development impacts on the environment.


“Today, even as we face a global extinction crisis, President Trump doubled down on abandoning the nation’s commitment to wildlife protections, science, and our natural heritage in his reckless pursuit of development of domestic energy sources,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “The consequences to our wildlife will last for generations. This proposal is grossly out of touch with bipartisan public opinion.”

 
The president’s budget significantly cuts or zeroes out entirely key conservation and scientific programs. The following highlights are a few areas where the budget proposes big cuts effecting wildlife conservation:


•    Endangered Species Act (ESA) Listing: In order for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to meet obligations under the ESA listing budget, a total of $51 million is needed annually, an increase of $30.7 million over the FY 2020 level. Species due for decisions include the Pacific marten, Eastern black rail, island marble butterfly, and black-capped petrel. However, the president’s budget request cuts this program by nearly 54%.

•    ESA Recovery: For the USFWS to meet these and other obligations under the recovery budget, a total of at least $196.7 million is needed annually, an increase of $93.7 million. The budget request cuts this program by 4.5%. 

•    Cooperative Landscape Conservation and Science Support: Defenders of Wildlife was grateful that the omnibus appropriations bill restored funding for these two programs which the administration had zeroed out in its FY 2020 request.  We recommend increases over current levels, returning to the requests made in the last Obama administration budget for FY 2017 for $17.8 million (an increase of $5.3 million) and $20.6 million (an increase of $3.3 million) respectively. With these increases, the USFWS can continue to work to address complex challenges such as climate change across large landscapes and otherwise address scientific questions key to conservation of trust species. The budget request zeroes out these two programs.

•    Key Grant Programs: Defenders of Wildlife supports $100 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund, an increase of $45.5 million; $6.5 million for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Fund, an increase of $1.6 million; $18 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, an increase of $3 million; and $70 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, an increase of $2.4 million.  The budget request zeroes out the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund and cuts the Neotropical Migratory Bird Fund by 20%, the Multinational Species Conservation Fund by 60%, and State and Tribal Wildlife Grants by nearly 54%.

•    Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wildlife and Aquatic Habitat Management:  Defenders of Wildlife supports a total of $200.8 million, an increase of $14.3 million over the FY 2020 level. Within this amount, Defenders encourages the Subcommittee to maintain specific funding for Threatened and Endangered Species Management and provide a level of $23.6 million for the program, an increase of $2 million over the FY 2020 level to support the conservation of the 445 listed and candidate species found on BLM lands. The budget request cuts the Wildlife and Aquatic Habitat Management program by 38% and fails to provide specific funding for threatened and endangered species on BLM lands. 

•    National and Regional Climate Science Centers: Defenders is pleased that the final omnibus bill rejected the administration’s proposal to “realign centers” and also provided a significant $13 million increase together with direction to develop the Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, a total of $38.3 million. We urge continued funding at no less than this amount to support scientific needs in planning for climate change adaptation and building resiliency of ecosystems. The budget again proposes to realign the Centers along with a nearly 46% cut.

We urge congressional appropriators to reject this budget proposal and develop and pass a budget that is reflective of national bipartisan opinions - clean air, water and a liveable climate

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 defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Rebecca Bullis
Rebecca Bullis
Communications Associate
rbullis@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295

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