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USDA Forest Service Fiscal Year 2004 President’s Budget
FY 2004 Highlights by Appropriation

Discretionary Appropriations

Research and Development (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $252,170,000)

Our Nation depends on public and private forests and rangelands to meet many needs. Productive forests and rangelands provide wood and forage, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and many other values, and can be more effectively managed to reduce risks from fire and pests. Key to sustained and enhanced productivity is developing and deploying integrated resource management systems based on understanding natural and manipulated biological processes. Accelerated research and technology development are needed to better manage, restore, conserve, and enhance the productivity of our public and private forests.

The FY 2004 President's Budget for Forest and Rangeland Research includes $11.6 million in program initiatives and a $5.7 million adjustment for uncontrollable costs. The President's Budget has provided the following increases:

  • $2.5 million is provided for Sudden Oak Death (SOD) research to: (1) further characterize the genetic and geographic origin of the pathogen, modes of infection, spread vectors, survival mechanisms, and means of local and long distance spread; (2) clearly delineate the tree species and localities affected and/or at risk; (3) distinguish the roles of physical factors in disease progression; and, (4) determine potential ecological effects of SOD and approaches to mitigating those effects.
  • $3.6 million is provided for research and development tools essential to prevent, detect, control, and monitor other invasive species and restore impacted ecosystems.
  • $0.5 million will enable Forest Service Research and Development to respond immediately to emerging pest situations by accelerating initial research and development activities. The numbers of invasive organisms has increased as a result of increasing international travel and trade, resulting in loss of native species, disruption of ecosystem functions, and diminished goods and services from forests and rangelands.
  • $2.0 million is provided for research and technology development to integrate the production, utilization, manufacturing, and marketing of forest biomass as cost-effective, environmentally sound renewable biobased products and bioenergy.

In support of the goals and objectives of the Healthy Forests Initiative, Forest Service Research and Development is also provided $3.0 million:

  • $1.0 million for fundamental fire behavior research. New knowledge about fire behavior is critically needed to guide fire management decisions and as a foundation for related research in fire ecology and economics. The increase will provide better models for monthly, seasonal and long-term predictions of potential fire occurrence and severity and spatially explicit models that effectively integrate vegetation, terrain, weather, and climate patterns to describe potentials for severe fire behavior. These complex models require additional information on the impacts of variability in fuels on fire, fuel moisture dynamics as relates to live fuels and moisture effects, and fire-atmosphere interactions to advance the understanding of weather effects on fire and vice versa.
  • $2.0 million for applied fire research to integrate forest health protection tools. The increase will provide for development of methods and tools to conduct comparative assessments of forest health risks and treatment prioritization. The assessments will serve as guides for monitoring change in forest and rangeland ecosystems and for adjusting management strategies to signals of system changes or warnings of impending risk. This approach will require watershed- and landscape-scale integration of findings on fire, insects, pathogens, and invasive weeds with forest and range management and must factor in aspects of economics and social science.

The FY 2004 President's Budget presents Research and Development with an opportunity and challenge to further integrate science and technology into increasing productivity and improving forest and rangeland health to meet the needs of the American people.

State and Private Forestry (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $315,823,000)

State and Private Forestry is the Federal leader in providing technical and financial assistance to landowners and resource managers to help sustain the Nation's urban and rural forests and protect communities and the environment from wildland fires. State and Private Forestry programs help bring forestry to all landowners whether small woodlot, Tribal governments, State agencies, or federal land management agencies in efficient, non-regulatory ways. Through a coordinated effort in management, protection, conservation education, and resource use, State and Private Forestry programs help facilitate sound stewardship across lands of all ownerships on a landscape scale, while maintaining the flexibility for individual forest landowners to pursue their objectives.

Forest Health Management

The Forest Health Management (FHM) Program maintains healthy, productive forest ecosystems by preventing, detecting and suppressing damaging insects and diseases. The program has two existing activities: Federal Lands and Cooperative Lands. Additionally, an Emerging Pest and Pathogen program was proposed in the fiscal year 2003 President's Budget and is proposed for 2004. Funding proposed is $82.0 million.

Cooperative Fire Protection

The program provides technical and financial assistance to States and local fire agencies to promote efficient wildland fire protection on Federal, State, and private lands. Program activities focus on protecting homes and structures in the emergent wildland-urban interface and reducing Federal wildland firefighting and suppression costs. The program enhances State wildfire response capabilities as well as local volunteer fire departments through equipment, training, and technical assistance. The program has two activities: State Fire Assistance and Volunteer Fire Assistance. Funding proposed is $30.4 million.

Cooperative Forestry

The Cooperative Forestry program focuses on partnerships with States and private landowners to promote the management, protection, and better use of forest-based goods and services of public value. The activities of the Cooperative Forestry program are: Forest Stewardship, Forest Legacy, Urban and Community Forestry, and Forest Resources Information and Analysis. Proposed funding is $198.3 million. No funding is proposed for Economic Action, Pacific Northwest Assistance or the Stewardship Incentives Program.

  • Forest Stewardship - This activity provides technical assistance to non-Federal landowners to develop multi-resource stewardship plans and high-quality tree-planting stock to States and private landowners, and competitive challenge cost-share assistance to support stewardship projects related to hazardous fuels reduction, invasive species management and the sustainable management of timber and non-timber resources.
  • Forest Legacy - Through the use of conservation easements and land acquisition, this activity maintains the value and function of non-Federal forestlands across ownerships from remote wilderness to urban greenspace that have been coming under increased pressure for development and subsequent fragmentation.
  • Urban and Community Forestry - This activity protects America's natural resources by providing technical and financial assistance to local governments with a nationwide emphasis on maintaining, restoring and improving the livability of urban areas through management of natural resources.
  • Forest Resources Information and Analysis - This activity provides cost-share assistance to States for the inventory, monitoring, and reporting of information gathered on the status and trends in the nation's forested resources. Public agencies use this information to better manage forest resources.

International Forestry

International Forestry programs coordinate the expertise of Forest Service land managers and scientists with overseas assignments in the areas of technical cooperation and policy assistance. The focus is on key natural resource problems and issues in countries with significant forest resources and important forest related trade with the United States. International Forestry programs address five major areas within sustainable natural resource management: invasive species, migratory species, trade and economic aspects of forest management, wildland fire and fire ecology, and protected areas. Proposed funding is $5.1 million.

National Forest System (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $1,369,573,000)

There are 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands located in 44 States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, managed under multiple-use and sustained yield principles. The natural resources of timber, minerals, range, wildlife, outdoor recreation, watershed, and soil are managed to best meet the needs of the Nation without impairing productivity of the land or damaging the environment.

The National Forest System (NFS) provides for the planning, assessment, and conservation of ecosystems while delivering multiple public services and uses. The principal NFS programs are Land Management Planning; Inventory and Monitoring; Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources; Wildlife and Fisheries Habitat Management; Grazing Management; Forest Products; Vegetation and Watershed Management; Minerals and Geology Management; Landownership Management; and Law Enforcement and Investigations.

The FY 2004 President's Budget emphasizes the administration of grazing allotments according to Forest Plan standards as well as ensuring up-to-date environmental documentation and allotment management plans are in place.

Under the President's Healthy Forests Initiative, the National Forest System will continue to focus on managing wildlife and fisheries habitat, providing a supply of forest products to society, and restoration, enhancement, and maintenance of watershed conditions. Public and employee health and safety as well as protection of natural resources and public property are a priority of the law enforcement and investigations program.

Wildland Fire Management (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $1,541,775,000)

This appropriation provides funding for Forest Service fire management including preparedness, fire suppression operations, hazardous fuel reduction on National Forest System and adjacent lands, and supports the National Fire Plan. The program recognizes that wildfire is a critical natural process that must be integrated into land and resource management plans and activities on a landscape scale across agency boundaries. The program also recognizes that wildland fire management must be based on the best available science. The program seeks to protect life, property and natural resources on the 192 million acres of National Forest System lands as well as on an additional 20 million acres of adjacent State and private lands.

The FY 2004 President's Budget contains a program increase of $144.9 million for wildland fire management. It includes $604 million, which is a program increase of $176.0 million for wildfire suppression to decrease possible impacts on other Forest Service programs. It also requests level funding for hazardous fuels to continue efforts to protect communities by funding both proactive and precautionary treatments in the wildland-urban interface and to restore natural fire regimes to National Forest System lands.

Collaboration and cooperation is the cornerstone of the wildland fire management. The FY 2004 budget request continues the effort of the Forest Service and its partners to collaboratively manage wildland fires across agency boundaries. They are imperative to the success of reducing the number of communities at risk, reducing hazardous fuels, implementing better management practices, and doing research on fire related topics. The agency will use inter-agency annual performance measures to better track the progress toward meeting long-term performance goals and objectives. The agency will continue to develop the new inter-agency planning system to ensure the efficient and effective use of wildland fire management resources. It will expand efforts to monitor and control rapidly escalating large fire incidents costs, and will continue to improve incident financial reporting in coordination with the National Wildfire Working Group. The effectiveness of hazardous fuels treatment planning will be maximized through collaboration and focusing treatments in areas of greatest need of community and property protection.

Capital Improvement and Maintenance (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $524,571,000)

The Capital Improvement and Maintenance program provides funding to improve, maintain, and operate the infrastructure of facilities, roads, and trails related to recreation, research, fire, administrative, and other uses. The program emphasizes better resource management decisions based on the best scientific information and knowledge, an efficient and effective infrastructure that supports public and administrative uses, and quality recreation experiences with minimal impact to ecosystem stability and conditions. Infrastructure and deferred maintenance of property assets have been proposed to be incorporated into the facilities, roads and trails programs for FY 2004 and would be eliminated as a separate funding program.

The agency has established a target of collocating Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices at 35 sites through FY 2005. This collocation effort is part of Service First, a joint venture between BLM and the Forest Service to create seamless, citizen-centered service and more efficient land management.

Land Acquisition (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $45,433,000)

The Land Acquisition program acquires lands, waters and related interests within the National Forest System for public outdoor recreation, conservation of wildlife and threatened and endangered species habitat, protection of significant cultural resources, acquisition of wetland and riparian areas, and the protection of rare ecological areas that promote biological diversity. The agency is committed to working with partners to protect important lands, conserve open space and preserve special forest and coastal areas. Many of the acquired lands are located in congressionally designated areas such as wilderness, national recreation areas, wild and scenic rivers, and national scenic trails. Acquisitions also improve forest management through consolidation of boundaries and providing access to existing national forests and grasslands.

Other Appropriations (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $8,627,000)

Range Betterment Fund - This fund provides for necessary expenses of range rehabilitation, protection, and improvement. The program receives 50 percent of all monies collected during the prior fiscal year for grazing domestic livestock on lands on national forests in the 16 Western States. Examples of the work that is funded under this program include seeding to improve forage conditions; treat noxious weeds that result from permitted livestock grazing, manage water developments to aid in livestock distribution, construct fences to control livestock use patterns or protect sensitive resources, and other improvements made to or on the land. Program work is designed to promote the restoration, enhancement, or maintenance of desired conditions of grazed watersheds; threatened, endangered and sensitive species habitats; wildlife habitat, riparian areas; and general rangelands.

Gifts, Donations and Bequests - Gifts, donations, and bequests are deposited into this special account to be used to establish or operate any forest and rangeland research facility.

Management of National Forest Lands for Subsistence Uses - The Federal government assumed responsibility for subsistence management in Alaska on Federal public lands in 1990 and expanded its responsibility to federally reserved navigable waters in Alaska on October 1, 1999. Federal subsistence is a joint effort of the United States Department of the Interior and United States Department of Agriculture, with management on National Forest System lands the responsibility of the Forest Service. Enforcement of Federal subsistence hunting and fishing regulations requires protecting the subsistence priority and conserving healthy fish and wildlife populations.

Mandatory Appropriations

Permanent Appropriations and Trust Funds - (FY 2004 President's Budget Request: $762,287,000)

The Forest Service has eleven permanent appropriations and three trust funds (see listing on following page) on which it relies for funding in a number of areas, many of which are timber related. While not part of the discretionary appropriations process, these funds are nevertheless very important in funding on-the-ground work. The budget authority for permanent appropriations and trust funds is dependent on the level of receipts for these accounts. As can be seen in the following graph, timber related receipts have declined significantly. It is important to note that this decline has impacted some regions more than others. Overall, National Forest Fund receipts fell from $138 million in FY 2001 to an estimated $102 million in FY 2002, a difference of $36 million. Timber receipts declined by $38 million, from $74 million in FY 2001 to an estimated $36 million in FY 2002.

This chart depicts the National Forest Fund Receipts by year, for the years 1997 through 2006 (estimated).  A text based equivalent of the data is forthcoming.


The permanent appropriations and trust funds for the Forest Service are as follows:

Permanent Appropriations

Brush Disposal
Licensee Program (Smoky Bear, Woodsy Owl)
Restoration of Forestlands and Improvements
Recreation Fee Collection Costs
Recreation Fee Demonstration Program
Purchaser Elect-Timber Roads
Timber Salvage Sales
Timber Sales/Timber Pipeline
Roads and Trails for States - 10 Percent Fund
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Rental Fees
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Fund
Operations and Maintenance of Quarters
Land Between the Lakes Management Fund
Administration of Rights-of-Way and Other Land Uses
Payment Funds
Forest Botanical Products
Trust Funds
Cooperative Work - Knutson-Vandenburg (K-V) Fund
Cooperative Work - Other
Land Between the Lakes
Reforestation Trust Fund
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 Last Modified: Monday, Dec 16, 2013 at 02:19 PM CST