On February 10, 2020, President Donald Trump proposed an appropriation of $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Fiscal Year 2021 that supports the Administration’s priorities, including increasing energy security, promoting good government, expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation, putting Americans back to work, and providing conservation stewardship for public lands.
Details of some of the President’s proposed budget priorities include:
Providing Conservation Stewardship for Public Lands
The BLM continues its conservation stewardship of public lands in its FY 2021 budget request by prioritizing active forest and rangeland management to combat catastrophic wildfire. In FY 2019, the BLM accomplished a record-breaking 846,000 acres of fuels treatments. The BLM also helped reduce wildfire risk in communities near BLM-managed public land by providing over $9.6 million for on-the-ground treatments, education and planning efforts in those communities.
In 2021, the BLM continues this conservation legacy by investing $10.3 million for forest management on public domain lands and requests $112.8 million in the Oregon and California Grant Lands appropriation.
Enhancing Visitor Experience on Public Lands
BLM-managed public lands are premier outdoor recreation spots in our country and the 2021 BLM budget supports the Administration’s priority of enhancing recreational opportunities and access. In FY 2021, it is estimated that the BLM will provide recreation opportunities for more than 72 million visitors.
The 2021 BLM budget provides significant resources in support of Secretarial Order 3374, Implementation of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Visit this link for more information on the Dingell Act: https://www.blm.gov/about/laws-and-regulations/dingell-act), the public lands bill that was signed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on March 28, 2019. It also provides $59.0 million for Recreation Resources Management and requests $37.6 million for the National Monuments and National Conservation Areas program, which also supports recreation activities.
Increasing Energy Security
The 2021 budget requests $199.3 million in the Energy and Minerals Management programs, including $139.2 million for BLM’s oil and gas programs. The BLM will enhance efficiencies, reduce planning times, clarify permitting processes, and leverage technology to reduce processing times. In addition, the BLM proposes $18.9 million for the Coal Management Program and $11.8 million for programs associated with mining other minerals such as precious metals, trona, limestone, phosphates, sand, and gravel. The BLM budget also includes the exploration and development of critical minerals on public lands.
The BLM supports the development of renewable energy on public lands, and the 2021 budget request proposes a funding level of $29.5 million for renewable energy.
Promoting Good Government and Collaborative Conservation
The proposed budget supports the Secretary’s vision for a re-organized Department of the Interior that aligns regional boundaries to provide better coordination and focus resources in the field. It includes $4.8 million for the Joint Communication Infrastructure Improvement Project in the Southwest border region to provide shared infrastructure with other Interior agencies and complete communication along the border.
The budget request includes $237.0 million for the Land Resources activity, which provides for integrated management of public land resources, including forestry, range, cultural, and wild horses and burros. The budget supports big game habitat restoration, actively managing lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, development and use of timber resources, and land stewardship.
Within the Land Resources activity, the budget proposes $116.8 million for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program – a $15.3 million increase over the FY 2020 enacted level – to address wild horse and burro herds on public lands, and provides clear direction to mitigate the unsustainable growth rate. It is consistent with Congressional direction to pursue a nonlethal management strategy.
For more information about the BLM’s budget, click on our Budget Resources quick links.