President’s Budget Proposal Shortchanges Critical Conservation and Science Programs
Arlington, VA | February 12, 2018
The Nature Conservancy released the following statement from Co-Chief External Affairs Officer Lynn Scarlett regarding President Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposal, which was released today:
“The president’s FY 2019 budget proposes steep cuts to conservation and science programs. As in last year's budget, the Administration continues to recommend dramatic cuts to these programs, even as Congress has already approved an overall higher level of spending. The urgent need for strong investments in nature has also become increasingly clear as they sustain clean water, protect communities from extreme storms, provide health benefits through outdoor recreation, and more.
“Conserving natural resources, addressing climate change, investing in science and helping the international community address environmental challenges support community resilience and basic needs such as clean water supplies.
“Last year—America’s costliest year ever for damages from natural disasters—should have been a clear-as-day reminder that our communities need healthy natural systems to help protect them. Recovering from the damage cuts like this would cause will mean even bigger investments from future generations to clean our water and air, repair damaged communities after floods and fire disasters, and more.
“The proposal includes a dramatic reduction by 92 percent to the Land and Water Conservation Fund—a cut that will reduce opportunities for all communities to access public lands. The Department of the Interior is facing a 17 percent cut overall, and Department of Agriculture faces a similar cut of 16 percent, including drastic cuts to conservation programs and a complete elimination of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
“It would also cut EPA’s budget by 34 percent, and would shrink spending at the National Science Foundation by 30 percent—both even steeper cuts than what the administration proposed last year and the biggest cuts proposed among all federal agencies.
“For the sake of the security and well-being of all Americans, we’re hopeful Congress will take a smarter approach to spending decisions, as they have the authority over where federal dollars go. We’re grateful for the long-standing, bipartisan congressional support for conservation and science funding, and hope that tradition will continue.”
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 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.