By Bob Marshall
A first look at the impacts President Obama's budget could have on fish, wildlife and sportsmen leaves me with this impression: It’s not as bad as it could have been, but much worse than it should be.
Here's a quick evaluation from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership on some of our key programs:
-Environmental Quality Incentive Programs (EQIP) 2013: $1.403 billion, a slight increase from 2012 enacted, but a slight cut from 2012 request. This funding helps property owners management in ways that benefit fish and wildlife habitat.
-Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) -- Capped at 30 million acres in 2013, a cut of 2 million acres, estimated to save Uncle Sam $977 million over ten years.
-Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), which provides financial assistance to non-federal landowners and Tribes to develop, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife habitats: $73 million, an increase of $23 million over FY12 enacted.