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Salazar Praises President’s Interior Budget

Salazar

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar defended President Obama’s allocation in his proposed budget of $11.9-billion for the Department of the Interior as a balanced one that makes tough budget choices but funds the highest priorities.  During a telephone news conference yesterday, Salazar told reporters that the President’s budget sustains support for the department’s core missions, which, in Salazar’s words “underscores the pivotal role that this Department plays as a driver of economic activity, especially for rural areas.”  The Interior Secretary outlined the budget as including $1.3-billion for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (which includes the National Elk Refuge), and $2.3-billion for the National Park Service.  Salazar also says the budget would provide strong support for basic and applied science to support stewardship of natural resources.  Additionally, he says the budget requested would include$776.9-million for wildland fire management including suppression operations, burned area rehabilitation and hazardous fuels reduction – although the latter was reduced by nearly $89-million.  All in all, Salazar says coming on the heels of last month’s sequestration, the proposed budget is (quoting now) “what it will take to get us out of a ditch and on the right track.”

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