The President has proposed a budget of $919.8 million for the Department of the Interior's (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Fiscal Year 2005. The 2005 budget will emphasize core USGS science programs that focus on water resources and water availability, natural hazards, biology, information technology, and projects that support science on the DOI landscape that will assist land and natural resource managers in making decisions based on science.

"This marks the 125th year the people of USGS have served America through exploration and scientific study. In FY 2005, we will put emphasis on providing science to help meet other DOI bureaus' natural resource management needs and on the President's Management Agenda," said USGS Director Charles Groat.

"Our efforts for 2005 will focus on water availability and invasive species, as well as our response to natural hazards, all of which are issues of critical importance to land and resource managers and to all Americans. We will continue to provide timely, objective scientific information to other Federal agencies, state and local partners and stakeholders to address critical societal issues. We will also enhance activities associated with financial management and information technology security," Groat said.

For FY 2005, the budget requests $2.8 million for increased studies in the Klamath Basin. This initiative focuses on improving the understanding of two endangered fish species in Upper Klamath Lake and how their survival is affected by changes in water quality and quantity and natural climatic cycles. The Klamath Basin initiative supports the Department's goal of sustaining biological communities on DOI managed and influenced lands and waters in a manner consistent with responsibilities regarding the allocation and use of water.

Increased funding of $1.0 million for Science on the DOI Landscape in FY 2005 will address science research that supports DOI bureaus, ensuring that they have the information and tools to make land and resource decisions. The USGS/BLM Mancos Shale Landscapes Project is an example of USGS research in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area (NCA) in Colorado, providing BLM a scientific basis for resource management decisions that affect public use of over 40,000 acres of Mancos Shale "badlands" in the NCA.

In FY 2005, an increase of $1.0 million is proposed to provide water data and information needed to help communities address critical and complex water availability issues. The research, coordinated with the Water 2025 Initiative led by the Bureau of Reclamation, will assess ground water availability and use, develop improved methods for characterizing aquifers, and meet water supply needs while preserving biological resources.

An increase of $800,000 will expand the use of InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar), which uses radar from satellites to detect subtle land elevation changes. This tool will enable the USGS to monitor earthquake-prone areas and conduct monitoring of high-risk volcanoes. The budget also provides funds to continue the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) at the FY 2004 funding level. ANSS brings critical real-time earthquake information to emergency responders, planners, engineers, and elected officials to enhance public safety.

An FY 2004 restructuring of the workforce in geography will provide approximately $9.0 million in FY 2005 for State, local, and private sector partnerships to further implement The National Map.

The USGS budget includes an increase of $1.0 million to expand research and management control measures on the brown tree snake, address priority invasive species issues, and support the implementation of the National Invasive Species Management Plan, approved by the interagency National Invasive Species Council. In 2005, the USGS will continue to implement the President's five government-wide initiatives for strategic management of human capital, competitive sourcing, improved financial performance, expanded electronic government and budget and performance integration.

In support of this effort, the budget provides an increase of $2.7 million to continue improvements in financial, accounting and business practices to meet the initiatives identified in the President's Management Agenda and to promote effective stewardship of Federal assets. In addition, a proposed increase of $1.8 million will enable the USGS to strengthen information technology security and service to scientists and provide a natural science E-Gov network for partners and customers.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Source:, Feb. 4, 2004