U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For release: Monday, Feb. 5, 2007
President Bush’s FY 2008 Budget Proposes $1.8 Billion for BLM to Provide Energy, Enhance Habitat, and Improve Efficiency
WASHINGTON – The Bush administration today proposed a $1.8 billion budget in appropriated funds for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management. This is $57.8 million above the fiscal year 2007 budget request. The budget fully funds fixed costs of $44.1 million. The BLM budget features a $15 million increase to implement a new healthy lands initiative that will ensure energy access while protecting habitat and wildlife in the wildlife-energy interface.
The president’s proposed fiscal year 2008 budget for the BLM also includes $142.9 million to ensure that the agency continues to provide dependable, accessible energy from public lands in an environmentally responsible manner.
“This budget request supports some of our country’s most important priorities,” BLM Acting Director Jim Hughes said. “Improving the health of the land, continuing to do our part in providing domestic energy, and working more efficiently to better serve taxpayers will help our agency meet current and future public land management challenges.”
Hughes said the healthy lands initiative will allow the BLM to conduct landscape-scale restoration in six areas: southwest Wyoming; the northwest and southeast portions of New Mexico; southcentral Idaho; southwestern Colorado; Utah; and the three-corner state area between Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada. The money budgeted for this initiative is expected to result in an additional $10 million in in-kind and monetary contributions from federal, state, local, and oil and gas industry partners that will work collaboratively with the BLM. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey are included in this initiative, providing support to the BLM’s habitat restoration goals.
The 2008 budget request includes an increase of $3.1 million over FY 2007 for the BLM’s oil and gas inspection and monitoring activities, which will ensure that energy development is done in an environmentally sensitive way and that terms of energy-related permits are enforced. The increased funding would provide the BLM with the capacity to perform an additional 1,572 inspections by 2009, with 522 additional inspections occurring in 2008. The spending increase would also enable the bureau to monitor the effectiveness of oil and gas lease stipulations at 280 locations.
The 2008 budget proposes to address the split-estate issue, seeking authorization to retain funding from the sale of mineral rights to current non-Federal surface landowners. Revenue would be used to acquire important habitat.
The 2008 budget also includes reductions in programs that will result in the deferral of lower-priority activities.
The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 western states, including Alaska. The bureau 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.
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