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The Nation | IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Budget Increase for National Refuges Urged

January 22, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton announced a proposed $56.5-million increase for the national wildlife refuge system, an 18% hike she said is necessary to cover maintenance and renovation at the 538 refuges across the nation.

The San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge would receive $1.1 million under the proposed budget that starts Oct. 1.

The proposed increase would be the largest in seven years. This year's budget was $319 million.

The announcement came less than a week after Norton said oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska would not compromise the country's international treaty obligations to protect polar bears in the refuge.

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