February 12, 2020 - WASHINGTON, DC - On Monday morning, the White House released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which includes massive cuts to major domestic programs. The Trump Administration’s proposed budget includes cuts to the Department of Interior funding, which includes a 97% cut in discretionary spending on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $581 million in cuts to the National Park Service.
In reaction to the President’s budget announcement, Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:
“Once again this year, President Trump’s proposed budget is a threat to the continued protection and preservation of our national parks and public lands. It is ill-informed, irresponsible, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from this administration.
The President is proposing draconian cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a self-funded program that provides a huge economic and cultural benefit to our communities. Additionally, this proposed budget zeros out funding for National Heritage Areas. Funding for American Battlefield Protection Grants, historic preservation, and construction are all taking a huge hit as well.
“National parks are already suffering due to decreased annual appropriations in the past decade. Despite high visitation, staffing numbers continue to decline, placing our treasured natural and cultural resources at risk. Without appropriate levels of funding, it is impossible to effectively manage high visitation and ensure the protection of our parks. And this proposed budget would further reduce NPS staffing levels.
This administration has a consistent history of enacting policy that undermines the ability of the National Park Service to ensure that our national parks are protected for the enjoyment of future generations by proposing budgets that put our wild spaces and public lands at risk.
Make no mistake, with these cuts the Trump Administration and Secretary Bernhardt would rob our communities and put our most iconic landscapes and waterways on the chopping block to make space for backroom deals to sell-off public lands to oil and natural gas executives. Hopefully this budget will be dead on arrival when it reaches Congress.”
Source: Coalition to Protect America’s National Park