FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
PRESS STATEMENT: HOUSE COMMITTEE’S APPROVAL OF FY 2023 INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL SHOWS COMMITMENT TO RESTORE VALUABLE AND VULNERABLE PUBLIC LANDS
Washington, D.C. - Conservation Lands Foundation applauds the House Appropriations Committee for passing the Fiscal Year 2023 Interior Appropriations bill today, which includes significant, necessary increases for management of the National Conservation Lands.
“After more than 15 years of perpetual underfunding by Congress, we are pleased to see the House Appropriations Committee take this action to restore the funding the Bureau of Land Management needs to manage these valuable and vulnerable landscapes,” said David Feinman, government affairs director. “The National Conservation Lands represent our nation’s natural, cultural, and outdoor heritage, and proper funding will help ensure these places are better managed for the essential values they hold.
The bill includes $70 million for the BLM to manage the system of National Conservation Lands, and within that amount, more than $9 million “to expand management and operational capacity.” Should the House and Senate approve this amount later this year, it will provide a 42% increase in funding from the previous year. With this funding, the Bureau of Land Management will be able to:
- Fill many vacant positions, and hire new positions, within the Bureau of Land Management to improve public lands management.
- Inventory, monitor and protect Indigenous and other cultural resources against vandalism and other threats.
- Restore fish and wildlife habitat after years of neglect.
- Improve visitor experience, recreational infrastructure and rural economic recovery.
- Reclaim degraded lands and waters for climate change mitigation.
This action by the House Appropriations Committee follows increased advocacy from grassroots and national conservation organizations, as well as more than two dozen members of the House of Representatives, who urged the Committee to significantly increase funding for this program. It also follows a robust budget request of $68 million from the Biden administration in their FY23 budget.
The House FY23 Interior appropriations bill will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer. The Senate will take up their own FY23 Interior appropriations bill soon, and we join these senators in calling upon the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee to increase funding for stewarding America’s National Conservation Lands.
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Background on Conservation Lands Foundation
Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) has led the only national movement of grassroots advocates to protect, restore and expand National Conservation Lands for over a decade. CLF is headquartered in Durango, Colorado with field offices throughout the West and in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit conservationlands.org.