President Bush Reinforces Commitment to
Cooperative Conservation in 2006 Budget
President Bush continued to build on the legacy
of cooperative conservation established in his
first term by supporting programs in the 2006 budget
thatpromote partnerships with the American people to
conserve our nation's land and water, wildlife and
other natural resources.
The Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce
departments and the Environmental Protection
Agency all fund key partnership programs that will
empower states, tribes, local communities,
conservation groups, private landowners and others
to undertake conservation projects. These projects
range from wetlands restorationefforts occurring
along Ball Bay on Upper Klamath Lake; to the
removal of invasive plants in Palm Beach, Fla.; to
the development and implementation of
self-regulating strategies to mitigate the trend
of declining marine populations in Kenai Fjords,
The funding supports the president's executive
order signed last year on "Facilitation of
Cooperative Conservation." The order directs the
secretaries ofthe Interior, Agriculture, Commerce,
and Defense and the administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency to promote
conservation partnerships and to empower local
participation in programs and projects that protect
and conserve natural resources and the environment.
"From his first day in office, the president
has made it clear that he believes the best thing
we can do for conservation is to tap into the
energy, ingenuityand love for the land of the
American people," said Interior Secretary Gale A.
Norton. "This budget reaffirms the president's
commitment to cooperative conservation."
"The heart of voluntary conservation programs
is cooperative conservation," said Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns. "Partnerships at the
local, state, andfederal levels with landowners,
tribes, government agencies and nongovernmental
organizations are critical in this effort."
The president's budget for the Agriculture
Department for fiscal year 2006 supports the
direction provided in the executive order. With the
budget, thedepartment will continue to implement
cooperative conservation in all relevant programs.
The fiscal year 2006 budget includes increases
in several programs that support cooperative
conservation, including a 4.1 percent increase for
the ConservationReserve Program, the federal
government's largest conservation program on
private lands. The $2.02 billion for the
Conservation Reserve Program supportsUSDA's goal
of partnering with landowners to protect land,
water and wildlife by planting grass and trees on
retired agricultural land.
In addition to the Conservation Reserve
Program key commitments in Agriculture's
conservation budget include:
- $657 million for the Conservation Technical
Assistance Program that provides technical
capability, including direct conservation planning
and implementation assistance, to help people plan
and apply conservation on the land. The
president's budget reflects an increase of $37
million for assisting owners andoperators of
animal feeding operations and an increase of $11
million for the Grazing Lands Conservation
Initiative specifically targeted at invasive
- $274 million for the Conservation Security
Program that provides financial and technical
assistance to promote the conservation and
improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and
animal life on tribal and private working lands.
- $1 billion for the Environmental Quality
Incentives Program that helps farmers and ranchers
improve soil, air and water quality and related
resources on private working lands.
- $321 million for the Wetlands Reserve Program
that helps landowners restore, enhance and protect
wetlands. The program works to maximize wildlife
habitat and wetland functions and values.
- $60 million for the Ground and Surface Water
Conservation program. This $9 million increase
provides for cost-share and incentive payments to
carry outwater conservation activities, including
irrigation improvements, conversion to less water
intensive crops, and dryland farming.
- $60 million for the Wildlife Habitat
Incentives Program to protect and restore
essential plant and animal habitat using
cost-share agreements with private land owners.
In FY 2006, the USDA Forest Service will
emphasize collaborative action and partnerships by
leveraging more than $500 million in partnership and
collaborative work to restore watersheds, reduce
hazardous fuels, and conduct joint research,
construct trails, educate our youth and support
economies in rural communities.
The Forest Service's State and Private Forestry
program will provide a total of more than $253
- $37 million, an increase of $5 million from FY
2005, for the Forest Stewardship Program to
provide technical and financial assistance to
states to help nonfederal landowners manage and
conserve forest resources.
- $80 million, an increase of $23 million from
FY 2005, for the Forest Legacy Program to protect
environmentally sensitive forest areas across all
ownerships threatened by conversion to nonforest
- $27 million in Urban and Community Forestry to
protect America's natural resources by providing
technical and financial assistance to local
governmentswith a nationwide emphasis on
maintaining, restoring and improving the
livability of communities and urban areas through
management of natural resources.
The Forest Service's Wildland Fire Management
program will provide $49 million in forest health,
state fire assistance and volunteer fire assistance
programs. In addition, the Forest Service's FY 2006
budget will assist in cooperative conservation
- $281 million for the Hazardous Fuels program
to maintain and restore forest and rangeland
health from catastrophic wildfire.
- $68 million for Research and Development's
Forest Inventory and Analysis program (an increase
of $13 million from FY 2005) to provide the
information needed to assess America's forests
through its annual forest census.
- $41 million for the Land Acquisition program
to protect critical resource areas and to provide
increased public recreation opportunities.
- $5 million to the Forest Products Laboratory
(Madison, Wis.) to implement the biomass component
of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act through
grants tononprofit and local communities.
- $3 million to the National Forest Foundation
for use on conservation-related project grants and
agreements that incorporate matching funds from
- $2 million to the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation for use on conservation-related project
grants and agreements that incorporate matching
funds from partners.
- $22 million in Challenge Cost-Share agreements
from various budget line items, which will
generate approximately $24 million in partner
contributions, for a total contribution of $44
- $108 million in forest management trust funds.
- $33 million in Resource Advisory Committees
for local community collaboration with federal
land managers in recommending projects to be
conducted on federal lands or that will benefit
resources on federal lands.
The president's budget for the Interior
Department includes an increase of $75.1 million, or
24.6 percent, for a suite of cooperative
conservation grant and partnership programs
administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park
Service. These programs emphasize local input and
cooperative decision making to achieve land
management and resource goals. As a package, they
are specifically designed to address conservation
goals on both federal and private lands.
The 2006 budget includes:
- $40 million, an 84 percent increase, for the
popular Landowner Incentive program, which
provides cost-share grants to states to help
landowners protectand manage habitat for
threatened, endangered and at-risk species on
- $10 million, a 45 percent increase, for the
Private Stewardship Grant program that provides
cost-share grants to individuals and groups
engaged in conservation projects to benefit
threatened, endangered and at-risk species.
- $44.8 million, a 140 percent increase, for
challenge cost share grants to allow Interior
agencies to work together with adjacent
communities, landowners and citizens to achieve
common conservation goals on federal lands.
- $74 million, an increase of 7 percent, for the
State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program that
provides cost-share grants to assist states and
tribes to undertake wildlife conservation projects
in partnership with local communities, private
landowners and other partners.
- $49.9 million, a 33 percent increase, for the
North American Wetlands Conservation Fund that
provides grant support for the highly successful,
multi-nation North American Waterfowl Management
Plan to conserve, restore and enhance wetlands and
other waterfowl habitat throughout the continent.
- $52.2 million, an increase of 10 percent, for
the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program that
assists landowners in voluntary habitat
restoration efforts on their property.
- $14.9 million, an increase of 27 percent, for
the Coastal Program that supports partnership
efforts to conserve and restore wetlands in
coastal areas, including elimination of invasive
- $12.9 million, a 26 percent increase, for
Migratory Bird Joint Ventures to create six new
joint ventures to support the goals of the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan and other
conservation partnerships, such as Partners in
Flight, the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and
the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan.
- $80 million for the Cooperative Endangered
Species Conservation Fund that provides grants to
states for activities that conserve threatened and
The president's budget for the Commerce
Department includes funding for a variety of
cooperative conservation programs through the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The budget reflects the administration's
support for NOAA's strategic goals, supports
improved performance in NOAA and maintains
essential environmentalservices for the nation,"
said Retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher,
under secretary of commerce for oceans and
atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
The budget includes:
- $61.2 million to address regional ecosystem
research priorities in coordination with state and
regional organizations through NOAA's Sea Grants
- $19.6 million for actions, coordinated with
regional, state and tribal entities, aimed at
protecting Pacific salmon stocks.
- $1.5 million for the NOAA Coral Reef Program
to work with states and territories to address
threats to the nation's coral reefs.
- $7.4 million in programs that support the
Western Governor's Association's call for a
National Integrated Drought Information System,
including $4 million for a Water Resources
Initiative to support development of a nationwide
water resources forecasting capability, which will
provide America with economically valuable water
and soil conditions. This increase supports a
national water- quality monitoring and prediction
- $3.8 million to accelerate nationwide
implementation of ozone Air Quality forecasting
capability from FY 2009 to FY 2008 and to deliver
an initial particulate matter forecasting
capability by FY 2011.
The president's budget includes increased funding
for key EPA programs such as watershed protection,
Brownfields redevelopment, and the Great Lakes
Legacy Program that are built upon effective
community involvement and partnerships.
The president's budget is requesting $50 million,
an increase of nearly $28 million, for the Great
Lakes Legacy Program, which is a large-scalecollaboration
among the federal government, the Great Lakes
states, local communities, tribes and others.
The president's budget also calls for $210
million, a $46.9 million increase, in the
Brownfields Program that will accelerate the cleanup
and renewal of contaminated lands.
"Through programs such as these, EPA continues
to build on the four cornerstones of new
technologies, market incentives, collaborative
networks and results to achieve greater gains in
environmental protection," said EPA Acting
Administrator Steve Johnson. "We are able to
foster healthy communities and leverage billions
of additional dollars to improve our nation's air,
land and water."