American Forests’ Statement on President’s FY20 Budget Proposal  

Implements Wildfire Funding Fix, But Slashes Cooperative Forestry and Forest Research  

The White House budget plan released on Monday, March 11, 2019 proposes $2.7 trillion in spending cuts for the Fiscal Year 2020 beginning on October 1, 2019. This includes a proposed 15 percent cut to the Department of Agriculture and 14 percent cut to the Interior Department.  

American Forests’ President and CEO, Jad Daley, issued this statement in response: 

“Raging wildfires, pest infestations, and other damage to our forests are diminishing their capacity to slow climate change, filter our water supplies, create forest jobs, and more. We need to provide the proper restoration and management of forests if we want them to continue delivering these benefits. This is absolutely the wrong time to cut funding from the Agriculture and Interior Departments, which lead federal efforts to help to conserve and restore our forests.” 

“In fairness to the administration, this budget does contain some positive measures for forest restoration. Most importantly, this budget makes good on implementing the ‘Wildfire Funding Fix’, which American Forests helped to enact, by providing increased funding for reducing hazardous fuels to reduce wildfire. But this positive step is counterbalanced by massive cuts that will shortchange programs critical for conserving forests from development, urban forestry, research, and partnership programs. This will leave state, community and private forest owners in the lurch and undermine scientific support for all forest activities on public and private lands alike.” 

“If we want resilient forests that will sustain us for generations, we must do more. Congress has a long history of stewardship of our nation’s forests and has always supported them in a bipartisan manner. American Forests will work with our forest champions in Congress to maintain the positive elements of the President’s proposal, and to provide more complete and robust funding for forests in FY20.” 

3 Key Takeaways:   

  • Implements Wildfire Funding Fix  
  • Cuts State and Private Forestry programs by 46% 
  • Reduces Critical Forest and Rangeland Research program by $45M 


About American Forests

Founded in 1875, American Forests is the nation’s oldest conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s forests, but our work today is more important than ever because forests are a natural climate solution. Since 1990 alone, we have planted over 60 million trees in forest restoration projects in all 50 U.S. states. We have also worked in dozens of cities across America, expanding tree canopy and making our communities more sustainable, beautiful, and livable. Together, these projects recover hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, safeguard vital watersheds, absorb millions of tons of greenhouse gases and protect some of the most stunning landscapes in America.

For More Information, Please Contact: 

Alix Murdoch, Vice President of Policy AMurdoch@AmericanForests.Org 202.370.4505

Michael Woestehoff, Director of Communications 202.370.4517