News Release from Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
March 12th, 2019 4:06 PM
WASHINGTON – President Trump has proposed $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Fiscal Year 2020, allocating the resources needed to carry out BLM’s multiple-use and sustained-yield mission under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) by providing funds to promote responsible energy development, enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, and advance conservation goals.
In addressing key Administration priorities, the budget request also calls for active management of timber and rangeland resources to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildland fire, create resilient landscapes, and protect local communities. The budget also provides funds for improved management of grazing, wildlife habitat, and other programs to better address the public’s needs while striking a regulatory balance. Finally, the proposed budget includes funds to support BLM’s costs associated with implementing the Department’s reorganization plan. This funding supports establishing and implementing Interior’s 12 unified regions, relocation of resources closer to customers, and implementation of shared service solutions.
Sustainably developing energy and natural resources
The 2020 budget promotes an “all of the above” domestic energy strategy to promote America’s energy security and generate revenues for Federal and State treasuries and local economies.
The budget requests $198.4 million in discretionary resources for Energy and Minerals Management programs and reflects the continuation of actions the BLM has taken to streamline responsible impact analysis while consulting with stakeholders associated with such development. Of that amount, $137.3 million is allocated for Oil and Gas Management, which includes leasing, permitting, inspection, and enforcement.
In order to fulfill the requirements of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (PL-115-97), the BLM will continue to perform the work necessary to facilitate an initial oil and gas lease sale within the Coastal Plain of Alaska. The law requires leasing to begin within four years of its passage by Congress.
The Administration continues to support development of minerals important to many Western communities by proposing $19.8 million for the Coal Management Program and $12.3 million for programs associated with the mining of other minerals such as precious metals, trona, limestone, phosphates, sand, and gravel. The funds would be used to streamline program activities, expedite processing of mining permit applications, and provide for more timely inspection and enforcement actions.
The budget proposes another $29.1 million for the Renewable Energy Program, which includes solar, wind, geothermal, and rights-of-way for transmission and other areas that bolster America’s energy infrastructure.
Restoring Trust and Being a Good Neighbor
The BLM promotes shared stewardship across ownership boundaries and efforts to improve the ability to treat additional acres more resourcefully in order to meet its responsibilities under FLPMA.
In response to President Trump’s Executive Order to promote active management of forests and rangelands, the BLM budget prioritizes active use of forest management to include forest thinning that increases resilience not only to wildfire but also to insects, disease, and drought.
To execute these activities, the budget calls for $10.2 million for forest management on public domain lands. The $107.0 million request for the Oregon and California Grant Lands appropriation includes $97.0 million for the O&C Grant Lands Management activity, much of which will lay the groundwork to increase the amount of timber offered for sale there to 280 million board (MMBF) in 2021, reflecting the BLM’s commitment to advance timber production and forest health. Approximately 226 MMBF were sold in 2018.
Conserving Our Land and Water Resources
Rangeland Management Program, which would absorb responsibilities for soil resources from a reorganized Soil, Water, and Air Management Program, would receive $92.0 million. Responsibilities for this program include processing grazing fees and leases and investing in vegetation management projects to improve rangeland habitats.
The budget also seeks $75.7 million for the Wild Horse and Burro program, which in 2020 will continue to look for innovative ways to lessen the burden that growing wild horse and burro populations put on fragile rangeland resources and taxpayer resources. The program will continue to increase public/private partnerships to place more animals into private care and reduce the number housed in government-funded long-term holding facilities, and continue working with organizations to create private/public partnerships on pasture/sanctuary lands. The program will also continue working with academia and Federal partners to enhance existing fertility control vaccines and develop new population controls through research projects, and continue to pursue adoptions and sales, including incentivizing adoptions.
The proposed 2020 budget supports Secretarial Order 3362, Improving Habitat in Western Big-Game and Migration Corridors, by identifying $7.0 million to be used in coordination with States to support big game as well as evaluation and implementation of habitat restoration.
Expanding Outdoor Recreation
The budget proposal will continue to prioritize expanding access for the American public to the vast recreation resources on BLM lands, including hunting, fishing, and many other uses. It proposes $54.8 million for Recreation Resources Management to meet growing public demand and will focus on areas in need of visitor services at the highest visitation sites.
The budget also includes $37.1 million for National Monuments and National Conservation Areas programs to protect designated historic landmarks, historic, and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest on the public lands, and to support outstanding recreational opportunities and public access for hunting, fishing, and other uses.
Cultural Resources Management, which supports the inventory, protection, and stabilization of BLM cultural sites, will receive $15.6 million. The program will also continue to provide support and guidance on consultation with Indian Tribes and to other BLM programs.
Modernizing the BLM
The budget advances the Department’s priority of modernizing the organization of the BLM in conjunction with the larger reorganization of the Department of the Interior. For the BLM, this means relocating some staff and other assets to the West.
The new organization aims to reduce bureaucratic redundancy, improve communication between agency experts in the field and leaders in Washington, D.C., and allow the BLM to share its knowledge and resources more effectively among the Department’s field staff and local stakeholders.
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