“After four years of drastic cuts to funding and attacks on bedrock environmental laws, this budget is a welcome change, and is a much-needed win for wildlife, especially for threatened and endangered species and the places they call home,” said Robert Dewey, vice president for government relations, Defenders of Wildlife. “At a time when we are losing species faster than ever before, the proposed increases in funding to the Endangered Species Act, science, climate change and national wildlife refuges will greatly help to conserve our nation’s biodiversity.”

Washington, DC

The Biden administration’s recently released full 2022 fiscal year budget is a win for wildlife and provides significant funding increases for imperiled species, migratory birds, national wildlife refuges, and other crucial wildlife conservation needs. The budget also focuses on a major priority of this administration, tackling the climate crisis.  In addition, if enacted by Congress, it would cancel remaining funding for the destructive wall along the Southwest border and remove the sage-grouse rider. 


“After four years of drastic cuts to funding and attacks on bedrock environmental laws, this budget is a welcome change, and is a much-needed win for wildlife, especially for threatened and endangered species and the places they call home,” said Robert Dewey, vice president for government relations, Defenders of Wildlife . “At a time when we are losing species faster than ever before, the proposed increases in funding to the Endangered Species Act, science, climate change and national wildlife refuges will greatly help to conserve our nation’s biodiversity.”


Some key priorities important to wildlife conservation are highlighted below: 


•    The budget would remove the dangerous annual sage-grouse rider from its legislative proposal.  Despite continued declines of the species across the West to historically low levels, this rider which prevents protection of the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been included in final appropriations bills since 2014. Its omission from the budget is the first step in allowing science-based decisions to determine management of this species. 

•    ESA: The budget proposes a more than $60 million increase for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Ecological Services program, the primary FWS program for implementing the ESA, the highest level ever for the program. Likewise, the $16 million increase proposed for the U.S. Forest Service under the Wildlife and Fisheries Habitat Management program will help that agency to carry out critical recovery efforts for threatened, endangered and sensitive species that occur in federal forests. This important work would be further supported by the administration’s robust funding proposals for planning as well as research and development.

•    National Wildlife Refuge System Operations and Maintenance: This budget is also is historic in that for the first time, the National Wildlife Refuge System Operations and Maintenance would be increased by $80.5 million to a total of $584.4 million which to date would be the highest level ever for refuges. 

•    In order to improve conservation of migratory birds, FWS Migratory Bird Management would be increased by $18.2 million. This increase would support improvements to the permitting program for incidental take under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as well as help with bird conservation work in underserved communities through the Urban Bird Treaties program. 

•    Increases in FWS Office of Law Enforcement and International Affairs of $8.1 and $6.2 million respectively would help address illegal trafficking in wildlife.

•    Climate Change: The environmental side of the budget includes a major focus on addressing climate change. With an increase of $14 billion, the investment to address the climate crisis focuses on restoring agency capacity, investing in communities, and restoring our nation’s leadership position in science and research. Among important programs for wildlife, the budget for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National and Regional Climate Adaptation Centers would be more than doubled.

•    Border Wall: While the cancellation of remaining funding for border wall construction is a crucial first step, significant funding is needed to remove key segments of the wall that endanger communities, wildlife, and water sources; to restore habitat; and to otherwise remediate harm.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 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

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Katie Arberg
Katherine Arberg
Communications Specialist
karberg@defenders.org
(202) 772-0259

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