On 14 October, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment released a draft spending plan for the Department of the Interior and related agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) would receive $1.06 billion, a reduction of $20 million relative to last year, but $10 million more than the House included in its bill. Funding for the Ecosystems activity would hold nearly steady at $160.6 million. Priorities would shift, however, within the program; work on invasive species would receive a 21 percent increase. The USGS climate science centers would also receive an increase of $4.6 million.

Funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) would be cut by 2.2 percent to $1.47 billion. Despite a proposed top-line reduction, the agency would receive increased funding for its endangered species program. Reductions would be made in the areas of habitat conservation, fish hatcheries, and the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Science and technology at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive about 0.5 percent less funding. This is about $55 million more than the House of Representatives recommended in their spending proposal.

The Forest Service’s Forest and Rangeland Research program would be reduced by about 3.5 percent to $295.8 million.


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