October 19, 2019

President Proposes $1.3 Billion FY 2018 Budget for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Budget Makes Commitments to Public Lands, Energy and Public Access

May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump today proposed a $1.3 billion Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service’s budget also includes $1.5 billion in permanent funding, which is mostly administered to states through various grants and other initiatives for their wildlife and sportfish conservation programs. The bureau budget helps put the federal government on track to a balanced budget by 2027.

“President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that’s exactly what this budget does,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands. The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places. Being from the West, I’ve seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities. The President’s budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines.”

The President’s budget focuses funding on the nation’s highest priority conservation needs, access to public lands for all Americans, and the agency’s role in streamlining energy development, while containing costs through management efficiencies and other savings to address federal fiscal realities.

“Improving access to national wildlife refuges supports the great American traditions of hunting and fishing that together generate billions of dollars for conservation and billions more for our nation’s economy,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Virginia Johnson. “Accordingly, this budget request prioritizes deferred maintenance funding for national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, active habitat management across millions of acres of public lands, and core wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities.”

“Timely environmental review of energy development and other infrastructure needs will create jobs and help the U.S. achieve energy independence,” said Johnson. “This budget also supports our law enforcement officers who support cooperative efforts to secure our borders.”

The FY18 budget includes the President’s continued focus on the following priorities:

America’s Public Lands:

Through the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Service continues the American tradition, started by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, of protecting fish and wildlife and their habitats and providing opportunities for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation to all Americans. The proposed FY18 funding level for the Refuge System is $470.1 million. The proposed budget maintains a commitment to providing outdoor recreational opportunities in rural, urban or suburban landscapes, including through the Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships program, as well as supporting the vital role of volunteers on our refuges.

American Infrastructure:

Included in the request for National Wildlife Refuges is $136.2 million for improving the Service’s maintenance backlog and to take care of the American public’s investments in facilities and infrastructure managed by the Service. Of this, $41.0 million is to address the backlog in deferred maintenance. This would sustain the Service’s current commitment to eliminate its maintenance backlog in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

In addition, $19.4 million is requested for maintenance of national fish hatcheries, which stock sport and subsistence fish for states and tribes and also propagate and release endangered aquatic species to aid in their recovery. . A further $51.9 million in funding is proposed for national fish hatchery operations.

Invasive species cost our economy billions of dollars each year. To continue its commitment to address this important issue, the Administration proposes level funding for programs that focus on preventing the spread of Asian carp, quagga and zebra mussels, and sea lamprey.

A total of $225.2 million is proposed to implement the Endangered Species Act and related programs, of which $79.6 million is dedicated for species recovery efforts. Recovery funding includes an increase of $1.8 million for working on five-year species reviews and delistings and downlistings.

Birds are important to Americans in many ways. Birdwatching generates $43 billion in economic activity yearly; hunting of migratory waterfowl is a traditional recreational pastime that generates billions more. A total of $44.0 million is requested for the Service’s Migratory Bird program, which provides waterfowl hunting opportunities and encourages conservation of birds and their habitats.

The budget eliminates funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Service’s science program, as well as funding for youth programs and the Cooperative Recovery Initiative.

American Safety and Security:

Refuge law enforcement efforts are funded at $37.9 million to enhance visitor and employee safety on our public lands and honor the President’s commitment to improving border security.

Additionally, the Office of Law Enforcement is funded at $73.0 million. The recent escalation in poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife poses an urgent threat to conservation and global security. Wildlife trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability in range nations, and undermining regional security in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Poaching operations themselves have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to become a coordinated, large-scale activity often commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates that also traffic drugs, arms and people, and that see wildlife trafficking as a low-risk, high-reward alternative. Our continued investment in combatting wildlife trafficking is important to addressing organized crime and saving hundreds of iconic species such as the African elephant and rhino from extinction.  The Service’s International Affairs program is funded at $14.2 million, nearly level with FY17 Continuing Resolution Baseline. The program provides grants and technical assistance for the international conservation of endangered and threatened species.

America First Energy:

The budget includes $98.8 million to facilitate planning and consultation that will support energy development, economic recovery and job creation in the United States. Timely evaluations of proposed infrastructure, energy and other development projects contribute to job creation and economic growth. Funding will allow the Service to expedite project reviews and work with developers on appropriate mitigation and avoidance measures.

The President’s budget also contains proposals to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling; to enable the National Wildlife Refuge System to recover damages from persons who injure or destroy federal resources; and to permanently authorize the Recreation Fee Program.

The President’s FY18 budget proposal for the Department of the Interior supports his commitment to create jobs, provide outdoor recreation through hunting and fishing, facilitate energy development, and support law enforcement needs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Congressional Justification can be found online: www.fws.gov/budget/2018/FY2018-FWS-Greenbook.pdf.

The Department of the Interior oversees one-fifth of the nation’s land and the entire Outer-Continental Shelf. The Department is charged with overseeing energy development on federal lands and waters, grazing allotments and timber sales, water conservation and delivery, upholding tribal trust responsibilities, conservation of wildlife and habitat, and maintaining access for recreation throughout public lands, among other priorities.

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Ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, made the following comment about Trump’s budget proposal:

“Once again, the Trump Administration has turned its back on Teddy Roosevelt-style conservatism and is instead trying to allow special interests to pillage our natural resources so a wealthy few can make themselves even wealthier. We won’t let him.”

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You Lie!

Ever since the Pope came to America, fired Speaker of the House Boehner and hired Speaker of the House Ryan, it has guaranteed that nothing changes – everything remains the same…with the exception of the rhetoric. All lying, cheating, stealing, criminal politicians are allowed to lie in order to convince their blinded constituency to keep voting for them.

Think not? Then explain why the “compromised” budget deal, supposedly worked out between the democrats and republicans, provides no funding for a wall, no cuts in federal funds to Sanctuary Cities and no cuts to Planned Parenthood.

But that’s okay! You just keep believing that Trump and his entourage are here to “Make America Great Again.”

Up next? A major distraction away from the lies of the “promises” made during election that just aren’t happening and on to another lie about a “compromise” bill on Obamacare.

On a side note – I have a bridge in New York City I want to sell. Any takers?

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Like It’s The First Time a Governor Has Asked His Department Heads to Cut the Budget

In a recent article by outdoor writer George Smith, he writes: You have to feel kind of sorry for DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock, who told the IFW Committee “I’m not here today to support changes to the budget. I am not able to do that.” He said it is the “Chief Executive’s budget” and he must support it. He’s talking about Governor Paul LePage, who ordered the agency to reduce the budget to the 2015 spending level.

I really felt bad for Chandler as he tried, for 2 ½ hours, to defend the budget cuts, most of which are indefensible.”

Smith makes it sound like this is the first time ever that a department head, who is, after all, appointed BY THE GOVERNOR to that position, had to present and defend a proposed budget that wasn’t his dream wish for his department.

It’s difficult to know from Smith’s words how much he is embellishing reality in order to promote his own cause of taking as much money from the citizens of Maine as possible and throwing at anything that moves at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), but, if what Smith writes about what supposedly the Commissioner of MDIFW, Chandler Woodcock, was willing to verbally state his lack of support for the Governor’s proposed budget, then perhaps the Governor should consider whether or not he has the continued trust and confidence of the commissioner.

I’m going to guess that I am not as thick-skinned as Governor LePage, when you consider the abuse he has taken over his tenure as Governor, but if I were in his shoes, I would be asking for some explanations, from the commissioner, as to why the show of disapproval to the committee of the Governor’s proposal.

However, in the society of which we have created today, respect might as well be taken out of the dictionary, for there is none left. There once was a day when any department head would never have pissed on his bosses shoes and told him it was raining. And just the same, no executive leader would have tolerated such public display of mutiny.

 

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Maine Wardens and Fish & Wildlife to Cut Budgets

Some appear to be “alarmed” that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) commissioner is proposing a budget that will cut Warden Service (MWS) employees, reduce mileage allotments, as well as the reduction of other positions within the Fish and Wildlife department. I see this as a good thing.

At least some people think that throwing money at anything makes it better. I’m not one of them. While the potential exists that these cuts could be an advantage to better management and administration at MDIFW and the MWS, there appears to be one thing lacking that would have gone a long way in generating public support for a cut or an increase – a deep forensic audit of the departments in question so that the public is readily made aware of where every penny of revenue comes from and specifically where all expenses go.

It was suggested in an article by George Smith, an outdoor writer and political activist, that the cuts to the Warden Service was some kind of retribution to the controversial actions of an undercover agent in northern Maine awhile back. Perhaps that is the only reason that Gov. LePage told Commissioner Woodcock to cut the MWS budget. It appears from information provided, that one of those positions that would be cut is in northern Maine.

Is this really a bad thing? It depends on how you look at it. Perhaps the governor feels that if the MWS has the time and resources to send an agent undercover, to carry out tactics that go far beyond anything that should be considered ethical, then maybe the MWS has too much time, too many resources, the results offering little but controversy and a disturbed public. Heroes?

Within the MDIFW, I see cuts as a good thing. At age 65, having hunted and fished since I was about old enough to walk, I have seen many changes to the landscape and the administering of the MDIFW and MWS. Especially in the past couple of decades, I have watched as hunting opportunities for deer have steadily declined in many locations in Maine. Listening to the echo-chamber of fake global warming is doing nothing to help the situation. In most recent times, moose hunting opportunities have declined significantly. And, what is being done to mitigate these losses? Maybe the revenue to MDIFW isn’t being appropriated in the best way to seal up a leaky ship.

This is where some think that more money is needed to throw at the problem. Perhaps not. Perhaps what is really needed is a restructuring of the MDIFW. Along with that restructuring, we might like to see real changes in deer and moose management. It only makes sense that in order to keep the revenue stream flowing, you have to keep the license buyers happy. Forcing the general public to pay for sportsman’s activities would only exacerbate the problems that exist now, i.e. the lack of actual deer and moose management. With a public paying for hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities, it won’t take long before they will be demanding and end to these activities in favor of protecting coyotes, counting bats, growing more loons that will continue killing the fisheries – and let’s not forget those infamous piping plovers.

Some might say that MDIFW is doing their managerial jobs with the ongoing studies of moose and deer. I doubt it. Such studies end up being mostly money grabbing events that keeps employees working. As anyone with any sense at all should realize by now, that finding solutions to problems dries up the income flow.

The end of the world isn’t going to come because the governor is asking the MDIFW and the MWS to makes some cuts, as all government agencies should be making cuts. I’ve had to pay more in taxes in the past 8 years anyway, while not seeing my income go about one red cent. I would, therefore, expect state and federal governments to do some cutting of their own. I would, however, would have liked to see that audit, along with an opportunity for public comment, before the budget was proposed.

But that’s NEVER going to happen. So we will keep on wishing in one hand and piling garbage in the other and see which one fills up first.

Regardless of what you might think about this whole issue, one thing is certain. Nothing will change.

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Cost could hold up Maine bill to allow concealed weapons without permit 

It amazes me how stupid people are. First, the State of Maine, unconstitutionally required people to PAY TAXES and be subject to FINES (TAXES) in order to carry a concealed gun. The TAX revenue was used to fatten the budget, help pay the extra help to administer the illegal requirement, and in the long run further increase TAXES on people in order to meet payroll and pay retirement pensions, etc.

Now, a bill has passed the Senate and House to do away with the requirement to obtain a permit and there is now concern that the lost revenue from TAXES and FINES will perhaps lead to not implementing the new bill. WHAT UTTER BULLSHIT!

AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite winning majority votes in both chambers of the Maine Legislature, a bill doing away with permit requirements for those carrying a concealed handgun might be holstered because of its price tag. The bill, LD 652, will cost the state more than $200,000 per year in lost […]

Source: Cost could hold up Maine bill to allow concealed weapons without permit — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

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You Didn’t Really Think the GOP Would Defund Obamacare? Did You?

Or how about funding for immigration? And a whole bunch of other stuff you thought the GOP would “take care of.”

“The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late Tuesday will keep most of the federal government funded through next September — and it’s packed with hundreds of policy instructions, known on Capitol Hill as “riders,” that will upset or excite Democrats, Republicans and various special interest groups.

So, what’s in the bill?”<<<Read More>>>

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Where Did it Go?

halfpaycheck

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Government: Only Places We Can Cut are ‘Entitlement’ Programs

Really? Here’s a list. It’s real from 2011. These cuts have been proposed, but how many of them have been cut? None. Instead they want your Social Security and Medicare.

Sources: Here and here and here.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.

Save America’s Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.

International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.

Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.

Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.

Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.

Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.

Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.

Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.

John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.

Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.

Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.

Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings.

Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.

Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.

Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.

Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.

Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.

New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.

Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.

Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.

Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.

Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.

Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.

Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.

Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.

Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.

Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.

U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.

General Assistance to District of Columbia. $210 million annual savings.

Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.

Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.

No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.

End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.

IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.

Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.

Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.

Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.

Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.

Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.

USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.

Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.

Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.

Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.

Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.

HUD Ph.D. Program.

Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

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Is Washington, D.C. a State?

It was only just before I began “sub primary” school, that’s what they called kindergarten back right after Columbus landed, the United States had grown from 48 states to 50. I know I wasn’t the greatest student on any campus but I did enjoy geography and thus I learned and remembered the 50 states. I could even find them on a map. No really! The United States is just a few miles west of Rome.

Evidently while I wasn’t looking, perhaps it was Tavistock or Obama, but I’m asking myself, “When did it change?”

During Senator Obama’s campaign for presidency, he told the people he was sooooooo busy he had visited 57 states. Man, I guess he was busy. Perhaps he was so busy that he needed the help of a Navy “CORPSEman” before he became a corpse…….or a man.

Now we find out that the White House has put a list of all the “51” states and what is going to happen to them if we don’t just send Obama every nickel we got. According to the list, the District of Columbia is now a state.

So, how many states do we really have?

[yop_poll id=”5″]

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Sequester Scamester

And the beat goes on! Run Henny Penny! The sky is falling! Is all this hot air being exchanged about budget cuts and Armageddon a bunch of posturing political manure? Or is it real? I have read or heard that life as we know it will change. Sorry, that’s already happened. I’ve heard that the way the sequester was designed it created a 2% (roughly) across the board cut for all aspects of the federal budget. I’ve heard a 50% cut in defense, that planes will crash, people will starve, foreign countries will invade and that President Obama can simply sign a piece of paper to provide for the administration to shuffle any cuts however he wants them. So what’s the big deal? Is any of this real?

Take the survey and/or add comments below.

[yop_poll id=”4″]

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