FY 2018 budget request would cut USGS programs severely

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May 23, 2017

President Trump proposed a budget of $922.2 million for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in his request for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which is a 15% cut from the FY 2017 enacted level. The proposed cuts would severely impact every USGS mission area. Funding for Land Use (formerly Climate and Land Use) would drop by 24.4% but work on developing LandSat 9 would continue, Core Science Systems would be cut by 19.8%, Water by 19.2%, Natural Hazards would see a drop of 18.6%, Ecosystems would lose 17.3% of current funding, Science Support would be cut 15.3%, and Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health would lose 3%. There would be an increase of 11.8% for Facilities, which includes building rent and repairs.

The USGS Library, one of the largest collections of earth science materials in the world, is part of Core Science Systems. As a consequence of the proposed FY 2018 budget reduction of 52% to the Library, the USGS would place all of its library collections into a dark archive – which is essentially a warehouse that meets building safety requirements – and reduce online journal subscriptions by at least fifty percent. The public would have no access to the Library and at least three, or potentially all four existing locations, would close.

The President’s request includes a net reduction of $2.1 million for the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) compared to the FY 2017 enacted amount. This would reduce funds that support federal mapping (FEDMAP), state geological survey mapping (STATEMAP), and geologic mapping education (EDMAP) projects.

In the Natural Hazards Mission Area, the budget proposal would eliminate implementation of an Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast, suspend implementation of the National Volcano Early Warning System, and eliminate the Geomagnetism Program, an element of the U.S. National Space Weather Program, which would affect the accuracy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Air Force geomagnetic storms forecasting.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey