acs-interior-fy12

					       American Society of Agronomy | Crop Science Society of America | Soil Science Society of America
       5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • Tel. 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
       www.agronomy.org • www.crops.org • www.soils.org

Submitted April 1, 2011 via e-mail to INApprop.Detailee@mail.house.gov

Testimony of the
American Society of Agronomy
Crop Science Society of America
Soil Science Society of America
Karl Glasener
Director of Science Policy
kglasener@sciencesocieties.org

Regarding support for U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in FY 2012 Appropriations

To the Committee on Appropriations,
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
B-308 Rayburn House Office Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

On behalf of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil
Science Society of America (SSSA), I am pleased to submit comments in strong support of enhanced
public investment in the United States (U.S.) Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency as critical components of federal appropriations for FY 2012 and
beyond. We urge the Subcommittee to support the Forest Service at a minimum level of $6.4 billion
in FY 2012; the U.S Geological Survey at a minimum level of $1.2 billion in FY 2012, to
accommodate the President’s budget request; and the Environmental Protection Agency, Science
and Technology appropriation account at $846 million.

ASA, CSSA, and SSSA understand the budgetary challenges that the House Interior and Environment
Appropriations Subcommittee faces in FY 2012. We applaud the efforts of the Subcommittee to fund the
U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the greatest
levels possible.

U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service sustains the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and
grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service is has five research and
development (R&D) stations, 80 experimental forests & ranges, a forest products laboratory, two
technology and development centers, and one geospatial service and technology center. Soils are a vital
component of forest management, and their understanding is essential to achieve the agency’s
strategic goals, yet vital programs that are essential for improved soil quality have been consistently
underfunded. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA recommend that the Subcommittee appropriate $6.4 billion in
FY 2012 so that the Forest Service can adequately maintain the 193 million acres of national forests
and grasslands in the U.S. for the unique and valuable services they provide: clean water and air;
recreational opportunities; hunting; fishing; forest products; and, scenic values.

Forest and Rangeland Research
ASA, CSSA, and SSSA urge the Subcommittee to support funding for Forest and Rangeland Research
(FS R&D) in FY 2012 at $312 million to maintain the operation of essential programs during these
challenging fiscal times.




 
       American Society of Agronomy | Crop Science Society of America | Soil Science Society of America
       5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • Tel. 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
       www.agronomy.org • www.crops.org • www.soils.org

FS R&D Highlight
Soil is the natural filter, often overlooked, vital for healthy watersheds. Past investments in the Forest
Service have yielded enormous benefits to society. Soil scientists annually provide critical soil resource
information to Burned Area Emergency Response teams evaluating the environmental effects and
developing rapid management responses for hundreds of wildfires. The NFS developed the CarbonPlus
Calculator (http://nrs.fs.fed.us/carbon/local-resources/downloads/CCT_NRS13.pdf) to help land owners
estimate their forest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The calculator provides tips on how to reduce
carbon footprints and teaches users about the benefits of planting trees to absorb carbon.

Highlighting a Key FS R&D Program
The FS R&D Water, Air, and Soil strategic program area enables the sustainable management of
resources by providing information on how to clean air and drinking water, protect lives and property
from wildfire and smoke, and improve our ability to adapt forests to new weather patterns. The program
area studies ecosystem services with a high level of integration between water, air, and soil research.

Forest Service R&D also manages 44% of U.S. forest and grassland fire research. The other 56% is
funded through the Wild land Fire Management appropriation under the National Fire Plan, which we
recommend maintaining at $23.9 million, and under the Joint Fire Sciences Program, which we
recommend maintaining at $8 million.

National Forest System
ASA, CSSA, and SSSA support a funding level of $ 1.7 billion, the level requested in the President’s FY
2012 budget for the National Forest System. This level of support will enable maintenance funding for
inventory activities and assessment of forest and grassland ecosystem services, information critical to
understand the essential qualities of U.S. forest systems.

USDA Office of Environmental Markets
ASA, CSSA, and SSSA support appropriation of $2 million to support the mission and goals of the
USDA Office of Environmental Markets (OEM). The OEM was established to support development of
new opportunities for American agriculture and forestry through environmental services markets.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The USGS is uniquely positioned to address many of the nation’s greatest challenges. The USGS plays a
crucial role in reducing risks from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, wildfires, and other natural
hazards, assessing water quality and quantity, providing geospatial data to improve agricultural
production, soil management, and crop adaptation. The USGS also provides the science needed to
manage our natural resources and combat invasive species that can threaten agriculture and public health.
The USGS is working in every state and has nearly 400 offices across the country. To aid in its
interdisciplinary investigations, the USGS works with over 2,000 federal, state, local, tribal and private
organizations.

USGS addresses a wide range of important problems facing the nation: natural hazards, global
environmental change, water resources, waste disposal, and energy and mineral resources. The Soil
Science Society of America, a member society to the American Geological Institute, was part of the
development Critical Needs for the Twenty First Century: The Role of the Geosciences which lists
seven critical needs followed by policy actions to help the nation meet these. With a burgeoning human
population and rising demand for natural resources, we echo AGI’s statements that “it is critical to more
fully integrate Earth observations and Earth system understanding into actions for a sustainable world.
The USGS plays a prominent role in meeting national needs, while growing the economy, building a
skilled workforce and ensuring a natural resource-literate public.”



 
       American Society of Agronomy | Crop Science Society of America | Soil Science Society of America
       5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • Tel. 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
       www.agronomy.org • www.crops.org • www.soils.org

The President’s FY 2012 budget request for the USGS includes a decrease of $15 million or 1.3% below
the USGS budget request for FY 2011, and an increase of $6 million or 0.5% above the FY 2010 enacted
level. Although there is a $6 million increase in the total USGS budget request for FY 2012 compared to
the FY 2010 enacted level, the FY 2012 budget request contains significant cuts in many programs that
are offset by increases in other areas.

For FY 2012, we recommend an appropriation of $1.2 billion for the U.S. Geological Survey. Only a
concerted effort maintain funding for USGS will produce the knowledge and tools needed to
appropriately manage and meet the many challenges facing the nation’s water, biological, energy,
and mineral resources, while enhancing and protecting our quality of life.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In order to fulfill its mission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to maintain investments
in socioeconomic, sustainability, ecological, and exploratory research as well as partnerships with
academia and state and local government. These areas are essential to move environmental protection
from a command-and-control regulatory system to a more rational, compliance-based approach. We
recommend that the EPA Science and Technology appropriations account include $846 million in
FY 2012 to maintain and continue essential research investments.

In order to fulfill its mission, EPA needs increased investments in both its intramural and extramural
science programs as well as associated services such as environmental education and libraries. ASA,
CSSA, and SSSA recommend that EPA increase investments in socioeconomic, sustainability, ecological,
and exploratory research as well as partnerships with academia and state and local government. These
areas are essential to move environmental protection from a command-and-control regulatory system to a
more rational, compliance-based approach.

The Office of Research and Development (ORD) is the scientific research arm of EPA. The ORD funds
and conducts essential research in pollution prevention; air, water, and soil dynamics; and management
and behaviors to improve the way we use and conserve our resources.

To help enhance workforce development by recruiting outstanding scientists to participate in the
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA ask the Subcommittee to place
special emphasis on funding for this program and support the requested increase of $24.7 million to
support STAR grants. The STAR program has not only provided an outstanding source of research results
during its tenure, it has also trained bright young minds to explore and expand the basic concepts behind
environmental science and related innovations. 

For the National Estuary Program / Coastal Waterways program, we recommend an appropriation of
$27.1 million. Finally, for the Wetlands program, we recommend an appropriation at the President’s
requested level of $27 million, for FY 2012. The study of wetlands occurs under EPA’s ORD, Ecosystem
Services Research Program (ESRP). The program emphasizes the study of wetland ecosystem services to
provide the decision support tools needed to target, prioritize, and evaluate policy and management
actions that protect, enhance, and restore the ecosystem goods and services provided by wetlands.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of our requests. For additional information or to learn more
about the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of
America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA), please visit www.agronomy.org, www.crops.org, or www.soils.org. You
can also contact us via email (sciencepolicy@sciencesocieties.org) or phone: 202-408-5382.




 

				
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