$2.7 Billion Proposed for 2011 National Park Service Budget

The president’s fiscal year 2011 budget for the National Park Service
requests $2.7 billion and makes investments of $35.3 million in park
operations increases. The budget underscores cost containment, program
consolidation and management efficiencies to meet federal fiscal
realities, yet provides the resources necessary to effectively carry out
the National Park Service’s mission.

“Caring for national parks, welcoming more than 286 million
visitors every year, and revitalizing America’s towns and cities through
our community-based resource conservation and recreation programs is
the mission of the National Park Service,” said National Park Service
Director Jon Jarvis. “The president’s support of these efforts is
reflected in this budget.”

“Like everyone else, we will need to tighten our belts, but the
funding called for in this proposal will ensure the continuation of key
initiatives for visitors, youth, land conservation and climate change,”
said Jarvis.

“It is incumbent upon us — regardless of our budget — to look for
innovative approaches that allow us to do our work more effectively and
efficiently. This year, we began the consolidation of our work force
management and acquisition and contracting offices to provide better
services, and lower our costs.”

The budget includes $50.9 million in park operational increases as
part of the Secretary’s Treasured Landscapes initiative to support
operations on public lands that enhance the visitor experience, promote
ecosystem restoration, support species recovery and protect habitat, and
facilitate cultural resource preservation and conservation. The
increases are offset by reductions resulting from management
efficiencies.

The 2011 budget requests an additional $31.5 million to improve
interpretive ranger programs, visitor facility operations and
maintenance, and park resource protection. The budget includes an
additional $17.3 million to enhance the servicewide capacity to carry
out increasingly complex stewardship responsibilities, safeguard our
nation’s icons, protect the health and safety of visitors and employees,
and maintain assets. The budget also includes $2.0 million to support
Chesapeake Bay ecosystem stewardship efforts and improve public access
to the Bay.

In addition, the proposal includes $5.8 million for Secretary of
the Interior Ken Salazar’s Youth in Natural Resources Initiative that
augments National Park Service efforts to use national parks to
introduce young people to nature, engage them in the stewardship of
parks, and offer experiences that could lead to a career in conservation
or land management. The money would fund youth education and employment
programs at 19 park units benefiting 27 parks.

The $30 million increase for national park land acquisition and
state grants to promote local recreation and conservation continues the
Obama administration’s commitment to fund Land and Water Conservation
Fund (LWCF) programs at $900 million annually by 2014 using a multi-year
incremental approach. The fund supports federal, state and local
acquisition of lands and waters for recreational and conservation
purposes.

The 2011 budget request continues support of the Climate Change
Adaptation Initiative at the fiscal year 2010 level. The National Park
Service received $10 million in 2010 that will be used to assess parks’
vulnerability to climate change, develop adaptation and mitigation
strategies to reduce impacts, and continue monitoring resources in
collaboration with other Interior bureaus and partners.

In 2010, the National Park Service and other Interior bureaus will
implement the first series of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that
bring together many stakeholders to improve the resiliency and
adaptation of natural resources to climate change at the landscape
level. The effort is part of the anticipated eight regional Department
of the Interior Climate Science Centers that will make research results
and scalable information on anticipated regional climate change effects
available to park managers and programs.

The 2011 budget increases are offset by eliminating congressional
earmarks, reducing the construction and heritage area partnership
programs and terminating programs, including the Save America’s
Treasures and Preserve America grants programs.

More detailed information is in the FY2011 Interior Budget in Brief, which is available online at:
http://www.doi.gov/budget.
From National Park Service

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