At least they didn’t say “applauds.”


Good news, and a little bad news on public lands and the federal budget. Interior, Forest Service, BLM and Fish & Wildlife all get a raise, while wetlands conservation gets a haircut.  BHA lays it all out in this release:

Backcountry hunters and anglers logo.As the leading voice for the conservation of public lands, waters, and wildlife, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) responded to the release of the Biden administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025. This proposed budget would increase funding for federal land management agencies, which saw significant cuts in the fiscal year 2024 budget adopted on March 9.

“On the heels of an overdue federal budget that implemented stinging cuts to our federal land management agencies, we welcome the president’s budget for the coming year. As hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts we rely upon well stewarded public lands to enjoy our heritage,” said Patrick Berry, BHA President and CEO. “We appreciate that the administration’s proposal would direct greatly needed resources to the management of our public lands and waters and urge Congress to follow suit.”

Here are what the numbers look like in comparison to enacted fiscal year 2024 levels:

  • The Department of the Interior would receive a total of $17.8 billion, a 21% increase.
  • The U.S. Forest Service would receive $2 billion for the National Forest System, a 7% increase.
  • The Bureau of Land Management would receive $1.6 billion, a 14% increase. Included in those funds is a $29 million increase for the Wild Horse and Burro Management program. This funding is critical to addressing the rising costs of managing exponentially increasing populations of feral horses and burros on public lands that compete with native wildlife.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) would receive $1.7 billion, an 11% increase. Managed by the USFWS, the National Wildlife Refuge System would receive $602 million, a 14% increase. The Great American Outdoors Act, passed into law with applause from BHA in 2020 will provide an additional $95 million for deferred maintenance projects within the refuge system.

While this budget would increase funding for resource management agencies, it would also reduce funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to $33 million. This represents an $8 million reduction from current levels, and $17 million below the administration’s fiscal year 2024 budget. One of our nation’s most successful conservation programs, NAWCA has conserved more than 30 million acres through a competitive grant program that leverages public and private dollars. BHA has vocally supportedthe America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act which would increase authorized funding for NAWCA to $65 million annuall

“We are deeply disappointed to see a strongly bipartisan and beloved program like NAWCA the target of a 24% budget cut,” continued Berry. “BHA will urge Congress to appropriate the fully authorized amount for NAWCA.”

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife.



Leave A Reply