WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Interior Department should get more funds to protect the country's national parks, refuges and public lands in the 2014 budget, the White House says.
Under President Obama's proposed budget released Wednesday, the department would receive $11.7 billion, a 4 percent increase over the enacted 2012 figure.
The increase reflects an ongoing commitment to protect America's critical landscape and infrastructure while promoting job creation and economic growth, the White House said.
For the first time the Interior Department budget would include a dedicated source of long-term funding, $500 million by 2015, for Land and Water Conservation Fund programs to support federal, state and local partners' efforts in resource protection, the administration said.
The proposed budget would also include funds for ongoing efforts to manage the sustainability of landscape and watershed ecosystems such as the California Bay-Delta, the Florida Everglades, the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf Coast, it said.
The budget would also support American Indian tribal priorities with increased funding for safety and justice, natural resources, and assistance for tribes assuming responsibility for managing federal programs on tribal lands, the White House said.