Washington, D.C.; April 11, 2013 — The president’s FY2014 budget was released yesterday, and overall, American Forests is pleased with the administration’s noted support for forestlands across the federal government agencies. To keep sequester cuts from reducing the impacts of conservation efforts, American Forests has advocated for funding to be consistent with FY2012 levels. The president’s budget not only restores those FY2012 levels in many key areas, but it also increases support for some of the government’s most important conservation programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the national park system, and the national monuments and conservation areas within the Bureau of Land Management.

American Forests is encouraged with the stable funding for the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, the increase in the Bureau of Land Management’s Public Domain Forest Management program and the inclusion of an Urban Parks and Recreation Fund within the national park system. By restoring funding for forestlands, the administration indicates that it clearly understands the importance of these forests and all the benefits they provide. However, the decrease in the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program is disconcerting, as this program provides technical, financial and educational assistance to thousands of communities throughout the U.S.

To help ensure that conservation programs receive these recommended levels of funding, American Forests will continue its advocacy efforts on the Hill to garner congressional support for conservation efforts.