Funding for federal recreational lands would get burned more by pending appropriations legislation than by the ongoing Western forest fires. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies has released a draft spending bill for FY 14 that would cut spending by 19 percent.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) would get a funding increase of $149 million to about $5.3 billion but the increase would be consumed by forest fire fighting.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would get only $989.3 million, a $76 million cut from the FY 13 appropriated level and $20 million less than it wound up with because of sequestration.
The Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) would get a $401 million cut to about $1.06 billion, 27 percent below its FY 13 level.
View the draft legislation at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-sc-ap-fy2014-i....
The Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act that allows BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, NPS, FWS and USFS to collect user fees expires at the end of 2014. So the subcommittee proposes extending it another year to give Congress more time to thoughtfully reauthorize it.
The bill would also prohibit USFS from closing any more land to hunting and recreational shooting except in cases of extreme weather or for public safety.