President’s Budget Requests $2.6 billion for National Park Service


February 13, 2012

 

From the National Park Service

 

The National Park Service is the steward of the Nation’s most cherished natural and cultural resources. As the keeper of 397 park units, 23 national scenic and national historic trails, and 58 wild and scenic rivers, NPS is charged with preserving these lands and historic features that were designated by the Nation for their cultural and historic significance, scenic and environmental worth, and educational and recreational opportunities. Additionally, the NPS further helps the Nation protect resources for public enjoyment through its grant and technical assistance programs.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget released today requests $2.6 billion to support the bureau’s critical national recreation, preservation and conservation mission. The 2013 President's budget request fully funds $27.0 million in fixed costs and provides increases totaling $39.2 million to fund essential programs and emerging operational needs. Reflecting the President’s call for fiscal discipline and sustainability, the budget also includes $67.2 million in strategic reductions in park and program operations, construction, and heritage partnership programs.

The 2013 President's budget requests increases or maintains funding for programs that support the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative. The budget includes $2.3 billion for NPS operations, an increase of $13.5 million. The budget also requests increases for programs funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The $2.5 million increase to LWCF Federal land acquisition includes projects that strategically invest in interagency landscape-scale conservation projects and meet agency specific programmatic needs. The $60.0 million LWCF State Conservation Grants program includes a competitive State Conservation grants program that would focus on larger-scale urban landscapes and collaborative conservation. The budget keeps funding level for Historic Preservation Fund Grants-in-Aid to States, Territories, and Tribes, which is funded at $55.9 million, and retains $10 million in funding for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.

The budget includes program reductions of $21.6 million for park base operations and $1.0 million for servicewide programs. These reductions will be applied strategically to minimize the impact on the visitor experience and park resources. The budget funds $52.4 million for line-item construction projects, a $25.3 million reduction from 2012. It provides funding for only the highest priority construction projects that are critical to visitor and employee health and safety and does not propose funding for new buildings. The budget also includes an $8.1 million decrease for National Heritage Area grants. The proposed reduction promotes the goal of long-term sustainability of NHAs and the continued importance of Federal seed money for less mature areas, consistent with the directive in the 2010 Interior Appropriations Act for the more established NHAs to work toward becoming more self- sufficient.

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