The White House officially released their fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget request on March 28, 2022. The release of the President’s budget proposal which outlines the administration’s spending priorities, is the first step in the FY23 appropriations process.
The proposal requests a $6 billion increase for discretionary spending at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) compared to FY22 funding levels and includes strong support for several federal programs that champion conservation efforts across the country.
Appropriations committees in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will begin work to develop FY23 spending bills. NACD encourages members to reach out to their congressional representatives to communicate their appropriation’s priorities as lawmakers begin to craft these bills. NACD’s 2022 issue papers, including an appropriations issue paper, can be found here.
The President’s FY23 budget proposal includes:
- $1 billion for Conservation Operations within USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), of which $886 million will be dedicated for conservation technical assistance. This request represents a nearly $100 million increase from FY22 funding. Conservation technical assistance provides critical resources for NCRS, and partners like conservation districts, to help landowners implement conservation practices on their land.
- Additional resources for the NRCS to expand staffing capacity and support the administration of conservation programs. NRCS offices across the country are understaffed and require more support to effectively manage critical conservation programs.
- Strong support for critical Farm Bill conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). These programs help farmers improve their operations, manage land more sustainably, and protect the environment.
- $189 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, an increase more than $10 million compared to FY22 funding levels. This grant program helps states, tribes, and partners mitigate water pollution and improve water management. Conservation districts across the country have utilized these grants to complete projects to improve water quality.
- Strong funding for the Forest Service to bolster forest restoration activities and mitigate wildfires. This support supplements funding for wildfire mitigation activities included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law in November 2021. The budget also calls for increased funding for the Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.
- Support for the Forest Service’s Stewardship Program and State and Private Forestry programs. These programs provide technical assistance and other resources for landowners and resource managers to sustain our nation’s forests.
- Support for NRCS Watershed Operations programs, which also received funding through the bipartisan infrastructure bill.