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Posted at 03:29 PM ET, 02/13/2012

Interior would see cuts in some programs, boost for Fish and Wildlife Service

The proposed White House budget would allocate $11.4 billion to the Department of the Interior, about a 1 percent increase over the $11.3 billion allocation for 2012.

The budget would slash $200 million from a Department of the Interior program that helps six states with offshore oil and gas development — Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Alaska and Alabama. The states have been slow to obligate money provided for the program, leaving more than half a billion dollars in unobligated funds.

The president’s budget requests a major increase in funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service — $72 million over the 2012 level. The money is intended to boost key initiatives, such as efforts to restore the Florida Everglades, protect endangered wildlife, acquire land and move forward with controversial proposals to adapt to climate change at coastal wildlife refuges where beach erosion is occurring.

Fish and Wildlife would receive a $52 million increase for land acquisition and an $8 million increase to adapt to warming in areas where scientific studies from other government agencies show it will happen.

A major construction program in the National Park Service would be cut by $24 million, an austerity measure that allows the agency to sharpen its focus on operations and maintenance at parks, the administration said.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs would get $1 million for conservation efforts on native lands.

By  |  03:29 PM ET, 02/13/2012

 
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