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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation reauthorization : hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on reauthorizing the National Fish and Wildlife Foundat online

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points out that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is not
only effective, but innovative, aggressive and well worth the
money. Simply put, it is a shining example of a federal program
that works.



108



6

Now to address the second question raised in your letter of
invitation; how to improve effectiveness of the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation. We believe there are basically two ways to
improve the Foundation's efficacy; one by appointing a state fish
and wildlife agency to the Board, and secondly through additional
appropriations for the Foundation.

At the Foundation's outset, a colleague of mine, Mr. William
Molini, the state fish and wildlife agency director from the State
of Nevada -was a member of the Board. I believe, as does the
International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, that the
inclusion of a state director on the Foundation's Board is
imperative. State agencies are at the forefront of fish and
wildlife conservation and are usually aware of growing areas of
concern and needs long before the private sector becomes aware of
a specific problem. Having an agency director on the Board will
allow the Foundation to continue to be at the cutting edge of fish
and wildlife resources management issues. Due to the Foundation's
many projects with state fish and wildlife agencies, and the states
management authority for many of these resources we believe that
the Subcommittee should consider advising the Secretary of Interior
that the appointment of a state director to the Board is important
and justified.

To improve effectiveness we also believe that the Foundation,
if given more Congressional appropriations, will continue to



109



7
leverage federal dollars with the private sector dollars to improve
the nation's fish and wildlife resources. We believe the draft
legislation's increase from $15 million, to $25 million is far
sighted and necessary. Increasing the capacity for partnerships is
a sound fiscal investment. The International Association
enthusiastically supports such an increase.

Finally, overall, the International Association believes that
the draft bill is sound. We are particularly pleased that the
Subcommittee has recognized the great need for work in the marine
and estuarine environment by adding the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a cooperator. We all are
aware of the pressing needs in these areas. The estuarine lands
and waters of the United States are among the most productive, yet
fragile, environments we have stewardship responsibilities for.
Even though I come from an inland state, I, along with my inland
colleagues applaud this inclusion.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Foundation represents an
example of government that works. For a relatively modest
investment, the nation's fish and wildlife resources are being
preserved and management enhanced. From the standpoint of a state
fish and wildlife agency administrator, who at times is frustrated
with the federal government's impotency, this is a shining example
of good government. Thank you and I would be happy to answer any
questions the Subcommittee may have.



no



- ^ i Mc Aj^S* International Headquarters

PsCltUrC^^ 1815 North Lynn Street tel 703 841-5300

(^OnSCrVUnCye, Arlmglon.Vtrgmm 22209 fax 703 841-1283



STATEMENT OF MICHAEL DENMS

GENERAL COUNSEL

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY



In Support of the Reauthorization of the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act



Before the House of Representatives

Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee

of the

Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee



July 13, 1993



The Nature Conservancy is an international non-profit conservation organization dedicated to preserving
the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the
lands and water they need to survive. We maintain offices in all 50 states of the U.S. and assist like-
minded partner organizations in dozens of countries. Our efforts are supported by more than 700,000
members and over 800 corporate sponsors committed to protecting our natural heritage.



Ill



STATEMENT OF MICHAEL DENNIS

GENERAL COUNSEL

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY



Before the House of Representatives

Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee

of the

Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee

July 13, 1993



Introduction



Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, good morning. I am Michael Dennis,
General Counsel for The Nature Conservancy. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this
Subcommittee in support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation) and the
reauthorization of its enabling legislation.

The Nature Conservancy is an international non-profit conservation organization dedicated to
preserving the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by
protecting the lands and water they need to survive. Over the past 43 years, we have made
significant advances toward this ambitious goal. We have helped protect over 6.9 million acres of
biologically significant land in the United States and we manage a system of 1,600 nature preserves.
We have made these advances thanks to the support of over 700,000 individual members, over 800
corporate associates, and through synergistic partnerships with other entities-both governmental and
non-governmental .

It is the partnership theme that brings me here today in strong support of the Foundation and
its reauthorization. The mission of the Foundation is "to harness the energies and resources of both
the public and private sectors to plow investments into the field of fish, wildlife and plant
conservation." The Foundation is dedicated to making investments in nature by funding conservation
projects that safeguard natural resources. Projects vary in their scope, size and locality, but they all
have one thing in common: federal seed monies matched with non-federal challenge funds make them
work.

Legislation establishing the Foundation, which resulted from the foresight of this Committee,
was passed by Congress in 1984. The Foundation's mandate is to work on behalf of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies-ranging from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Association to the Department of Defense-to forge creative partnerships with non-federal sectors
which include localities, states, corporations, non-profits, and other countries. The Foundation is
authorized to receive federal appropriations from Congress, to be used as seed money ("matching



112



funds") to attract additional investment from non-federal sectors ("challenge funds"). The total
"grant" amount for a project is typically the combined total of matching and challenge funds.

Although its mandate requires a match of at least a one-to-one ratio, the Foundation has been
extraordinarily successful in its leveraging ability over the past seven years. It has stretched
$28 million in federal dollars into over $90 million for partnerships in 785 conservation projects: an
overall ratio of one federal dollar to two non-federal dollars.

The Foundation awards matching funds in five areas of conservation initiatives: North
American wetlands partnership, neotropical migratory bird conservation, fisheries conservation and
management, conservation education, and wildlife and habitat improvement. It has used its challenge
grant matching funds to jump-start a number of high priority national programs, including: Partners
in Flight, a conservation program for neotropical migrant bird species-those that nest in the U.S. and
Canada and winter in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean; the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service's Gap Analysis Program (GAP), which uses GIS mapping techniques to provide land
managers with a tool to help maintain biodiversity on a landscape level within the context of patterns
of land ownership; and "Bring Back the Natives," a restoration program for native flora and fauna in
selected Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service riparian areas.

Realizing that others on the panel today will go into more detail about the Foundation and its
programs, I will focus my comments on two areas which will demonstrate why The Nature
Conservancy so strongly supports the Foundation and why we are so pleased to testify today on behalf
of its reauthorization. First, I will briefly describe a number of the cooperative efforts on behalf of
biodiversity in which the Foundation played a key role, and then highlight four projects in more
detail. Second, I will briefly mention three areas that the Conservancy believes the Committee should
examine as it reviews the Foundation's authorizing legislation.



Foundation and Conservancy Partnership Projects

Since 1988, the Conservancy and the Foundation have jointly worked on 43 projects in twenty
states throughout the U.S. and in Mexico. To date, $3.71 million in federal (matching) funds have
produced $7.54 million in challenge funds, for a total of $11,456 million invested in on-the-ground
conservation-a truly impressive record. The following projects illustrate the Foundation's importance
to efforts on behalf of biodiversity protection and ecosystem management.

o In the ACE Basin of South Carolina , Foundation contributions in 1989-1991 totalling

$161,000 supported land acquisitions, funded a full-time coordinator for a private landowner
initiative, and allowed for a biological inventory of Mary's Island and Cheeha-Combahee.

o In Louisiana , the Foundation has been instrumental in many projects. Foundation funding of

$100,510 purchased 752 acres of bottomland hardwoods along the Red River, Bayou Bodcau
Wetlands , for the keystone of a new refuge. In 1991, $200,000 in matching funds helped
acquire 7,000 acres of coastal wetlands in the Bavou Penchant Basin , and $6,000 provided for
a TNC coordinator for the Partners in Flight program. Just approved this year are matching
funds to launch a Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and a field station on Little Pecan Island, as
part of the Gulf Coast Conservation Initiative (see next bullet).



113



o Also as part of the Gulf Coast Conservation Initiative, the Foundation is an important partner

in habitat acquisition at High Island. Texas . The High Island and Gulf Coast Conservation
Initiatives are long-range programs to improve and protect habitat along the Texas and
Louisiana Gulf Coast for neotropical migrant birds. Partners, in addition to the Foundation
and the Conservancy, include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, Houston Audubon Society, Amoco Production Company and Phillips Petroleum
Company.

o The Foundation was essential to the protection of the Devil's Gut namral area in the Roanoke

River Wetlands of North Carolina , now owned and managed by The Namre Conservancy,
Also, matching funds of $25,000 leveraged $50,000 of challenge funds that we raised, in
order to conduct neotropical migrant research, develop stewardship abstracts for twelve
neotropical species in decline, and develop a forestry management plan from the data on the
Lower Roanoke River.

o In Delaware, Maryland and Virginia . Foundation funds effectively launched a multi-state

partnership to conduct a survey of critical habitats along the mid- Atlantic coastline used by
neotropical migrant species during migration.

At Brings Marsh Wetlands in Rhode Island . Foundation funding of $40,000 was essential to

securing conservation easements on over 105 acres of marshland, including a coastal pond.

A 1989 Foundation grant of $75,000 funded the acquisition, restoration and management of

35,000 acres of wetlands and agricultural lands in Montezuma . New York .

o Along the Cache River in Illinois . Foundation matching fimds of $200,000 were leveraged to

provide a total of $724,000 in 1989 and 1990. This allowed the acquisition, restoration and
management of more than 2,960 acres of valuable bottomland hardwood wetlands for
waterfowl and wildlife habitat.

Foundation matching funds of $75,000 in 1990 helped acquire 17.5 miles of riparian habitat

on the Middle Fork of the John Dav River in Oregon , to protect the river from sediment and
erosional impacts.

Chapter Point. Marvland. The Foundation was essential in this conservation effort. It
contributed $250,000, which was eventually matched with $750,000 from the State of Maryland, to
acquire and preserve 1,588 acres on the Nanticoke River in Wicomico County. This area is prime
habitat for the endangered bald eagle and also serves the needs of many species of migratory
waterfowl. Protection of the area was achieved only through the dedicated, cooperative efforts of the
Foundation, the Conservancy, the Conservation Fund and the State.

The area had been a conservation target for years, and currently is a focus area for the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan. However, when the landowners were willing to sell, the
State of Maryland was experiencing serious budget difficulties, making conservation funds scarce.
The Foundation stepped in to make the purchase possible by providing the matching funds, serving as
a catalyst for the successful cooperative endeavor.



114



Mad Island Marsh. Texas . The Foundation is a key partner in a five-year, comprehensive
program. This program of habitat protection, restoration, and ecological management is underway in
an effort to return the 9,262 acre Mad Island Marsh ecosystem to its formerly productive state. The
project is designed as a model for protection, enhancement, restoration, and management of a Texas
Gulf Coast wetlands/uplands complex. A goal is to apply the knowledge gained to influence
conservation management of other private and public wetlands/uplands on the Texas coast. Other
partners include The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Ducks Unlimited, North American Wetlands
Conservation Council, Dow Chemical, private landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and
other government agencies.

Management efforts by the partners to date have focused on restoring and enhancing the
ecosystem. In the past two years, removal of exotic species and establishment of water management
capability have restored 166 acres of critically important wetlands on site. Over 700 acres of rice
fields have been managed to provide winter feeding and roosting habitat. Prescribed burning has
been employed to enhance and restore 315 acres of upland coastal prairie. Foundation contributions
totalling $225,000 have been critical to the continuing success of this project.



Parrott Ranch. California . The Foundation was a pivotal player in the 1991 acquisition of
18,000 acres of nationally important wetlands and other natural habitat at the Parrott Ranch in
Northern California. This extraordinary property supports an unparalleled abundance of waterfowl
and other wetland species. The acquisition of the Parrott Ranch was deemed the top priority of the
North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

In 1990 and 1991, the Foundation provided a jump-start with $1.4 million which resulted in
more than $11 million in total partnership funding to purchase the property. In addition to the
Foundation and the Conservancy, the partnership included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
State Wildlife Conservation Board and Department of Fish and Game, Ducks Unlimited, and the
North American Wetlands Conservation Council.



San Pedro River. Arizona . Foundation matching funds of $100,000, leveraged on a 3:1
basis, were critical to efforts in the San Pedro River ecosystem project. This project includes several
major components: (1) protection of land and water resources of the San Pedro River corridor and
watershed which sustain globally significant riparian and aquatic communities and species; (2)
partnerships with local landowners, non-profit organizations and public agencies to more effectively
accomplish resource protection and management; and (3) international cooperation through the
Conservancy's Mexico Program partnership with the in-country non-governmental organization
Centro Ecologico de Sonora.

Foundation funds were essential for current water protection efforts in the San Pedro River
Basin, including instream-flow water rights acquisition. The Arizona Chapter of The Nature
Conservancy wrote the following to the Foundation: "As a result of your generous grant, the San
Pedro project is off and miming on solid footing."



115



Although The Nature Conservancy believes the existing authorizing legislation is very sound,
we currently support three issues to be considered in reauthorization.



Issues for Reauthorization



The Nature Conservancy supports three minor changes to the authorizing legislation. First,
we believe the Foundation should be reauthorized through FY1998, with an authorized ceiling of
$25 million annually.

Second, the legislation should specifically include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) as a specified agency for cooperative projects, to solidify the existing
relationship between the Foundation and NOAA, and to help bring additional resources to the agency.

Third, the Foundation's Board of Directors should be expanded from nine to 15, with a
minimum of four of the 15 to be "educated and experienced in principles of fish and wildlife
management." Given that all Foundation operating funds must be raised from private sources, an
active and dedicated Board is extremely important.



Conclusion



In closing, I'd like to emphasize three points. First, the Foundation has forged many creative
and effective conservation partnerships since its inception in 1984, partially demonstrated by the
projects described above. Second, the Foundation has provided tremendous leveraging of resources
for these projects, stretching $28.7 million of federally-appropriated funds into over $90 million for
conservation: a ratio of $2.03 of non-federal money for every $1 appropriated to the Foundation.
Last, we support reauthorizing legislation which includes a $25 million annual authorization through
FY 1998, recognition of NOAA as a specified agency for cooperative projects, and an increase in the
number of individuals on the Board of Directors to 15.

Thank you.



116



n



NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

L-^ *— ' '^ I^^ One Waterfowl Way

I iKll lK/1ITFn Memphis, Tennessee 38120-2351

, V , 7^ (901) 758-3825

INC.

WASHINGTON OFFICE

1 155 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 800

Washington. DC 20036
(202) 452-8824

Statement by Ducks Unlimited Inc. regarding

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation presented

to the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources

of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries

July 13, 1993

It is my pleasure to come before you today to discuss the
partnership between the 500,000 members of Ducks Unlimited and
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. I am Scott
Sutherland, DU's Director of Federal Relations.

Ducks Unlimited has been working on wildlife habitat
conservation for over fifty-five years. In the initial years
DU's habitat work was conducted chiefly as an individual effort
and concentrated on the bird breeding ground areas of the
Canadian prairies. More recently we have expanded our work on
habitat in the U.S. and increasingly done projects in conjunction
with partners. In today's world of conservation, partnerships
between various members of the public and private sector are the
root of making limited resources go farther and accomplishing
joint goals. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has been
instrumental in bridging that gap, acting as a catalyst to
forming those partnerships and is one of DU's finest partners.

The record of the Foundation shows that they have been
pioneers in many areas that need attention. From their work on
writing the annual needs assessments for a variety of federal
natural resource agencies and their creation of the Partners in
Flight program, to their support and action in the area of
enhanced training for federal wildlife professionals, they have
provided a stimulus to get new ideas underway.



LEADER IX WETLANDS t:ONS£RV:AT/ON



117



The great bulk of the work that DU has done with the
Foundation involves the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
The Foundation along with DU and the state governments initiated
a program that encouraged all of us to share the burden of
restoring wetlands habitat in the three countries of North
America in order to ensure a continued population of migratory
birds and other wetlands wildlife. Coincidentally, the work DU
does with the Foundation also helps accomplish goals on some of
their other major project area initiatives, as well. An example
of this would be the tremendous neotropical and shorebird
benefits being realized on projects devised to implement the
North American Waterfowl Plan.

We have done some very large scale projects in partnership
with the Foundation. Among them is the A.C.E. Basin of South
Carolina. For those who don't know the area, this 2 5 mile long
watershed is the largest undeveloped piece of coastline on the
Atlantic seaboard. Private landowners in the area have joined
with the Foundation, the state, the Fish and wildlife Service,
Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, the DOW Corporation and
several others to set aside 90,000 acres south of Charleston.
Among the threatened and endangered species in the project area
are shortnose sturgeon and the most successful breeding colony of
wood storks in the country.

Another of the large projects done with the Foundation is
the Cosumnes River Preserve in California's Central Valley. This
is a project, that like the A.C.E. Basin, has many partners. The
Foundation has played a key role with its partnership because of
its ability to act rapidly when a short lived opportunity arises.
One of the most recent actions of the Foundation at Cosumnes was
their partnership to acquire the area known as "Crane Ranch" that
comprises the last piece of the key "core" area. Cosumnes
attracted hundreds of bird watching visitors last winter when a
few Asian varieties of waterbirds made what in the past has been



118



a rare visit. With further habitat enhancement, these species
may eventually be seen in greater numbers in California. The
number of human visitors also continues to increase. Last year's
record number of waterbirds helped this area become even better
known among conservationists and the general pxiblic.

These are just two of the dozens of partnerships our members
have undertaken with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
We hope that there will be many more.

I would like to turn to the issue of improvements that may
benefit the operation of the Foundation and its abilities to get
more good work done. Steady and necessary funding is a
continuing challenge that faces the Foundation. DU has worked
with the Foundation to help identify and institute support from
the private sector for Foundation projects and to let Congress
know of the important activities undertaken by the Foundation and
the need for support. The possibility of reauthorizing the
ceiling at $25 million is a good idea that hopefully can be
translated into action by appropriators.

Another aspect of the operation that may benefit from your
review and perhaps some modest revision has to do with clarifying
the matching ratio required for non-governmental entities to
receive grants through the Foundation. In our discussions with
other potential partners for Foundation projects, questions have
arisen on whether the matching requirements are the same for
grants that have federal money as the source, versus grant funds
that originate as non-federal donations. Since much of the
grants do come from federal funds we feel it important that match
requirements are consistent and that all potential partners are
competing for these partnerships on a level playing field.

Since the Foundation is a relatively new member of the
conservation community, and acts as a bit of a "hybrid", some



119



confusion exists about the Foundation's responsibility on
requirements placed on federal agencies themselves and
requirements that exist in their dealings with outside
organizations. We have at times been unsure of what federal
regulations the Foundation must abide by and whether these same
regulations therefore apply to partners? Further, do these
regulations apply only to grants made available from a federal
source, to non-federal funds, or to all funds made available to
partners through the Foundation? For example;

If DU receives a grant from the Foundation,


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Online LibraryUnknownNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation reauthorization : hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on reauthorizing the National Fish and Wildlife Foundat → online text (page 13 of 14)