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Bureau of Land Management
For Release: Monday, February 3, 2003
Budget Overview (738KB PDF)
Revenue Facts (121KB PDF)
DOI Budget Office
Celia Boddington
202-452-5125 Larry Benna

BLM Requests $1.7 Billion for FY 2004 Budget to Meet Needs of Managing Public Lands for Multiple Uses

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management is requesting a fiscal year 2004 budget of $1.7 billion, an increase of $42.8 million over the Administration's 2003 budget proposal. The new budget request would, among other things, improve recreation and visitor services, support forest management improvements, and enhance the protection of watersheds. The budget would also promote energy development as part of President Bush's National Energy Policy.

"The BLM is more committed than ever to our multiple use mission," said BLM Director Kathleen Clarke. "With this 2004 budget request, we will be better able to address issues that arise from diverse uses of BLM-managed public lands. This budget proposal will also strengthen the BLM's role as a manager of abundant and diverse energy resources, which will help America meet its energy needs both today and in the years to come."

The 2004 request includes $3.6 million in funds to promote energy development on public lands and to monitor the effects of energy production over time. The request builds on increases in the 2002 and 2003 budgets for continued implementation of the National Energy Policy, which aims to enhance America's energy and national security by reducing the nation's dependence on imported oil.

The 2004 budget request will build capability in the BLM's forestry management programs with a $2.5 million increase. The Bureau will use the funds to conduct commercial thinning and other forest management treatments to improve the condition and productivity of forests and woodlands and provide economic opportunities for local communities.

For 2004, the BLM is proposing a net increase of $5.2 million to provide expanded and improved, yet environmentally sustainable, recreational opportunities. These funds will enable the BLM to undertake a number of efforts-including public outreach, consultation, partnership building, and better visitor services-that will improve the overall visitor experience while protecting vital natural and cultural resources. Additionally, the funds will improve the BLM's ability to resolve contentious user conflicts, and to monitor the effects of recreational uses on the public lands.

Commenting on the Interior Fire Program, which is funded in the BLM budget, Clarke said, "One of our most urgent priorities continues to be the protection of the public, local communities, and the landscape from the ravages of wildfire. The President's Healthy Forests Initiative will complement the National Fire Plan by reducing regulatory obstacles and allowing more effective and timely actions."

The 2004 budget request contains a $5.3 million increase to strengthen the BLM's resource protection capabilities, including an increase of $2 million for the Bureau's highly successful Challenge Cost Share partnerships. The request will enable the Bureau to improve the health of landscapes and watersheds, and to manage, protect, and restore important fish and wildlife habitats. Of that amount, the BLM is requesting $1 million for Bureau-wide efforts to further monitor and assess the effectiveness of the BLM's management decisions over time.

Additionally, the 2004 budget includes $11 million for the BLM's construction program. The request will support 30 construction projects in nine states, including administrative facilities, visitor centers, sanitation improvements, trails, bridges, roads, and recreation site improvements.

The Interior Department's 2004 budget includes a $35 million increase from the amount requested in the 2003 budget for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT). Since payments are made on behalf of most Federal lands that cannot be taxed by local governments, not just BLM-managed lands, the 2004 budget would shift the PILT appropriation from the BLM to the Department of the Interior.

The BLM will continue active implementation of the President's Management Agenda in 2004 for improving management and performance of the Federal Government, and for practicing the Secretary's vision of citizen-centered management excellence. The BLM has worked extensively to integrate the budget with the performance goals in the Department's draft unified Strategic Plan.

The BLM's habitat restoration programs were assessed during formulation of the 2004 budget using the Administration's Program Assessment Rating Tool. The assessment found that the programs are well managed and include significant leveraging from non-Federal partners. The 2004 request includes an increase of $1.9 million for resource monitoring to further improve these restoration activities.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land -- 262 million surface acres -- than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.7 billion and a workforce of more than 10,000 full-time, permanent employees, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.
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