During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to "provide state game and fish agencies with additional resources and encouragement to reach out to young men and women to educate them about hunting and fishing opportunities, hunter safety, and the basic principles of fish and wildlife management."
In the Interior Department's fiscal year 2010 budget, Obama proposed an increase of $50 million to the department's 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps, a program focused on "educating young hunters and anglers and encouraging youth to seek careers in nature through environmental education."
When Obama signed the Interior appropriations bill on Oct. 30, 2009, he more than doubled the program's funding, but that was less than he had sought. Under the new bill, the program's funding rises by about $20 million -- from $20 million spent on the program during in fiscal year 2009 to more than $40 million for fiscal year 2010.
That's a significant increase. However, lawmakers rejected the creation of the Educating Young Hunters and Anglers program under the Fish and Wildlife Service. Obama had sought $30 million but signed a bill that included zero. (Separately, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced in June that he was establishing an Office of Youth in Natural Resources in the department.)
In rating this promise, we are faced with a classic case of having to decide whether the glass is half-empty or half-full. On the one hand, Obama doubled the funding for a youth-in-nature program, but on the other, he struck out in his efforts to fund the major educational component of it. On balance, we rule it a Compromise.