President Obama released the Fiscal Year 2013 budget on Monday. American Forests has been working on budget recommendations as part of a Green Budget coalition. The Green Budget is a report that highlights the environmental and conservation communities’ Fiscal Year 2013 national funding priorities, such as: wildlife habitat restoration, clean energy investment. It’s prepared annually by a coalition of national environmental and conservation organizations like Defenders of Wildlife, the Trust for Public Land, and the Wilderness Society. The report illustrates how federal investments can help meet the environmental challenges of a changing climate, develop our clean energy resources and sustain our nation’s natural resources. This week, American Forests also helped the coalition effort distribute the Green Budget report to offices on the Hill for Congressional staffers to read.
Over the next year, Congress will hold hearings to examine the proposed budget, working to achieve a final version. Coming up first, the House will hold hearings to examine the Fiscal Year 2013 budgets for departments, agencies and programs under its authority. Budget House hearings this week include a Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Department of Interior budget and an Appropriations Committee hearing on the USDA Forest Service budget. The Senate will most likely hold off on the bulk of their hearings until later in the year, but this week they will hold budget hearings for the Department of Transportation (which has implications for trails and outdoor recreation funding) and the Department of Energy (which affects investment in clean energy). Stay tuned for more updates on the budget process and Congressional hearings.
Upcoming hearings by committee: