Congress Funds Government Through 2016; Continues Increases for NPS’ Centennial Challenge


On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive spending bill to fund the government through fiscal year (FY) 2016. The bill provides $1.15 trillion in discretionary spending for all federal government programs and operations for FY2016. The measure includes significant increases in funding for certain Department of Interior programs including: $2.9 billion for the National Park Service (NPS), an increase of $237 million which includes $15 million for the Centennial Challenge to fund joint public-private infrastructure investments in honor of the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016. The agreement also reauthorizes for three years, through FY 2018, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provides an increase in funding of $144 million.

The measure also provides critical increases for the Department of Transportation to carry out transportation programs reauthorized under the new surface transportation law, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and Energy and Water programs received an increase in funding across the board, including an additional $500 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $300 million for Water Resources Construction, and $200 million for Water Resources Operations and Maintenance. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean and Safe Drinking Water Revolving Funds received slightly less funding. 

Below is a breakdown of the FY2016 allocations for the various federal agencies and programs important to ASLA and landscape architects nationwide.

Department of Interior:

  • Department of Interior: $12.0 billion, a $1.3 billion increase from FY2015.
  • National Park Service: $2.9 billion, including $15 million for the 2016 NPS Centennial Challenge.
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund: The agreement reauthorizes LWCF for three years, through FY 2018, and funds the program at $450 million for FY2016. (LWCF is financed through fees from offshore oil and gas leases).
  • U.S. Forest Service: $5.7 billion
  • Urban and Community Forestry Program: $23.7 million, a $4.3 million decrease from FY2015.
  • Bureau of Land Management: $1.2 billion, a $2.3 million decrease from FY2015.

Department of Transportation:

  • Department of Transportation: $18.7 billion, a $900 million increase from FY2015.
  • TIGER: $500 million, same as FY2015 level.
  • Federal Highway Administration: $42.4 billion, a $1.4 billion increase from FY2015.

Environmental Protection Agency:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: $8.1 billion
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $1.4 billion, a $50 million decrease from FY2015.
  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $863 million, a $43 million decrease from FY2015.

Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development: $38.3 billion, a $2.7 billion increase from FY2015.
  • Community Planning and Development: $6.4 billion
  • Community Development Block Grants: $3 billion

Energy and Water:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: $6.0 billion
  • Water Resources Construction: $1.9 billion
  • Water Resources Operations and Maintenance: $3.1 billion

Department of Agriculture:

  • Conservations Programs: $864 million
  • Watershed Rehabilitation Program: $12 million
  • Agriculture Research Service: $1.2 billion

Other Agencies:

  • National Endowment for the Arts: $148 million
  • National Endowment for the Humanities: $148 million
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission: $1 million for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.



Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator