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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fish and Wildlife Service: FY2013 Appropriations and Policy

M. Lynne Corn
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy

The annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriation funds agencies and programs in three federal departments, as well as numerous related agencies and bureaus. Among the agencies represented is the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in the Department of the Interior. Many of its programs are among the more controversial of those funded in the bill. For FY2013, the House Committee on Appropriations approved H.R. 6091, a bill containing $1.16 billion for FWS, down 21.5% from the FY2012 level of $1.48 billion contained the Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 112-74, Division E, H.Rept. 112-331). The President requested $1.55 billion, an increase of 4.9% over the FY2012 level. Relative to the FY2012 level, reductions in the various accounts and most subaccounts ranged from 6.0% down to elimination, although four subaccounts were held at the FY2012 levels. No increases were approved. Other highlights of the bill include the following:

  • $1.04 billion for Resource Management, by far the largest account in the FWS budget, and a reduction of 15.1% from the FY2012 level. 
  • Rejection of an Administration proposal to reduce funding for national fish hatcheries from $46.1 million to $43.2 million, despite a controversy over appropriate funding for hatcheries intended to mitigate other agencies’ water projects. 
  • $3.0 million for Cooperative Landscape Conservation and Adaptive Science, a reduction of 90.7% from the FY2012 level of $32.2 million. 
  • Elimination of funding for general land acquisition for national wildlife refuges. 
  • A focus on reductions in programs whose authorizations have expired or are expiring in FY2012. 
  • Funding restrictions or directives regarding wolves in Wyoming; hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal lands; and management of certain captivebred endangered game species. 
This report analyzes the FWS funding levels for the FY2013 appropriations bill. Emphasis is on FWS funding for programs that have generated congressional debate or particular constituent interest, now or in recent years. General efforts to reduce federal spending will encourage scrutiny of all spending, in FWS as in other agencies.

Date of Report: July 12, 2012
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: R42466
Price: $29.95

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