The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution was introduced last night by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA). In response, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of U.S. Government Relations, Bob Bendick, issued the following statement:
“The Nature Conservancy is very pleased with the Senate Majority’s budget proposal and applauds Senator Murray for recognizing the importance of investing in America’s natural resources even in these difficult times. We are particularly supportive of her inclusion of provisions for funding land conservation and to enable passage of a Farm Bill with a strong Conservation Title by this Congress.
“The differences between the House Budget Bill introduced earlier this week and the Senate budget are significant. It appears that the House budget will result in continuing cuts to natural resource funding.
“With federal spending on land, water, ocean, and fish and wildlife programs just 1.26 percent of the Federal Budget in 2010, 1.25 percent in 2011, and estimated to be 1.13 percent in 2012, spending on conservation and the environment did not cause the Federal deficit, and so cutting conservation and the environment cannot fix the deficit. In addition, in the last several years, there have already been cuts to specific conservation programs, such as those in the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill, and funding for many conservation programs, that have not kept pace with the need. Senator Murray’s budget proposal recognizes and responds to these realities in a way that will allow the nation’s conservation tradition to continue.
“Among other things, the proposed Senate legislation, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, sets overall funding levels for the federal FY14 budget, and within those levels, appears to recognize the potential for full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s premier land conservation program. LWCF uses revenues from offshore oil and gas development – not taxpayer dollars – to protect and conserve outdoor spaces and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. The Senate budget proposal reflects the growing momentum in Congress to invest in conservation.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy