Some BIA programs lose out
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APRIL 13, 2001

When the fiscal year 2002 budget was announced earlier this week, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was one of the few Department of Interior agencies to receive increases in funds.

But not every area of the BIA was as lucky as Indian schools, trust reform, and land and water settlements. A small number of programs at the Bureau saw funding requests cut on Monday.

Some of the cuts, according to the Bush administration, are to non-recurring programs. Included are a distance learning project (-$988,000), Alaska Legal Services (-$146,000), and self-governance grants (-$256,000).

Reflecting an department-wide cut in endangered species coverage, the BIA's own program will be cut by $1.0 million. Similarly, other natural resource management programs are seeing drops.

Among the slashes is $630,000 for management of Lake Roosevelt in Washington. Another is a request to eliminate $3.0 million for the Washington State Timber-Fish Wildlife project. The Clinton administration had actually requested the same cut for fiscal year 2001.

A one-time Congressional appropriation of $176,000 for the Kawerak Reindeer Herders Association in Alaska is also being requested. The Association is composed of three tribal councils and 18 private herd owners in the state.

Trust reform is helping to increase the overall tribal priority allocations (TPA) request in the fiscal year 2002 budget. But the four tribal court projects come at a cost of $2.5 million to welfare assistance. To justify the cut, the Bush administration says there are less eligible Indian welfare applicants.

Two community development programs are also on the board for elimination: National Ironworkers Training (-$521,000), which the Clinton administration sought to cut, and funding at the Crownpoint Institute of Technology on the Navajo Nation (-$897,000).

Payments to tribes for land and water claim settlements will be increasing some $23.5 million. The increase is largely due to settlements enacted into law last year for the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla of California, Santo Domingo Pueblo of New Mexico, two Colorado Ute Tribes, and the Shivwits Band of Paiute in Utah.

Previously enacted water settlements will be seeing some cuts, however. Included is a $199,000 cut to the Pyramid Lake Paiute of Nevada, a $174,000 cut to the Walker River Paiute of Nevada, and a $32,000 cut for the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of Montana (Rocky Boy's).

Get the Budget:
Fiscal Year 2002 Interior Budget in Brief (DOI 4/9)
Interior Highlights(The White House February 2001)

Get Norton's Remarks:
The Honorable Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, 2002 Budget Rollout (DOI 4/9)

Related Stories:
BIA proposal includes slight increases (4/10)
BIA / OST Budget Overview (4/10)
BIA Budget: To cut or not to cut?(4/9)
Bush cuts Interior budget (3/1)
Fiscal Year 2002: The Budget Overview (3/1)
Bush pushes tax cut, budget (2/28)
Norton to address Indian affairs (2/28)
Norton outlines Indian Country priorities (2/23)
Norton warns of Interior budget cuts (2/16)
Tribal Schools on Priority List (2/16)
Indian funding signed into law (10/12)