ASLA Releases Statement on FY18 Budget Recommendations

American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, has released this statement in response to the Trump administration’s release of its fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations:
“ASLA is concerned with President Trump’s proposed federal budget, which makes draconian cuts at a time when our country should be making increased investments in the resilience and health of our communities.
“The President’s recommendation to slash the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by nearly 85 percent from current funding levels, from $400 million to $90 million, is devastating. Such a reduction decimates the nation’s most important conservation and outdoor recreation program that landscape architects access to plan and design community parks.
“We are concerned about the proposed 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget. The proposal purports to allocate $2.3 billion to the Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving fund programs, a $4 million increase. However, the budget also eliminates $498 million from the Department of Agriculture’s Water and Wastewater loan and grant program and instead recommends that rural communities access EPA’s State Revolving Funds, thus leaving State Revolving Funds with a $494 million reduction in funding.
“The Trump administration’s budget proposal includes cuts to climate change programs and activities across all agencies, including ceasing all payments to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund and eliminating the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program.
“ASLA and its members call on Congress to reject this budget proposal and protect programs and resources that protect our nation’s infrastructure and environment. As the legislative process continues, we will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and their stewardship of the natural environment.
“Our recent actions include the submittal of a letter signed by nearly 2,000 landscape architects and other supporters urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to change course and work to continue federal carbon reduction programs and regulations, fund scientific research and make it accessible to the American people, and honor the United States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

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