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Monroe, Louisiana, part of the National Wildlife Refuge system.
Black Bayou Lake in Monroe, Louisiana, part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. © Ian Shive


President’s Budget Makes Deep Cuts in Conservation Funding

Proposal would cut EPA, Interior budgets

Arlington, Va.

The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, chief external affairs officer at The Nature Conservancy, following today’s release of President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal. The budget calls for sweeping cuts to key conservation, scientific and management priorities critical to the protection of our natural resources:

“The president’s budget proposal is another missed opportunity to invest in nature. These cuts, like those in previous budget proposals, would undermine the protection of air and water, public health and our ability to prepare for growing threats like climate change.

“Some of the most troubling proposals in President Trump’s budget include a 26% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and a 16% reduction in the Department of the Interior’s budget.

“While the budget would increase funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System as well as support reductions in hazardous fuels that can drive wildfires, it also proposes cutting funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 97% and zeroes out funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

“Our world is changing, and if we are going to answer the challenges that change is bringing, we need bold, decisive investments in conservation, science and resilience. Unfortunately, this budget doesn’t nearly rise to the task.

“Congress has wisely rejected many of these proposed cuts in the past and shown that they can still work together to pass smart investments in nature. We know how investments like these benefit our communities, our health and our economy, and we are hopeful Congress will find common ground again and prioritize nature in spending decisions.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.