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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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Partners in Flight, our songbird initiative, is a classic example of
how we work. Two years ago, foundations and conservationists and
the agencies had their bell rung with the news that neotropical mi-
gratory birds had been declining for two decades. The news was
shocking not only because the declines were precipitous but be-
cause they occurred right under our noses.

We designed and implemented a comprehensive, multi-jurisdic-
tional program that now includes 14 Federal agencies, all 50 State
fish and game agencies, 29 conservation organizations and, most
importantly, the forest products industry and a number of other
large corporate sponsors like U.S. Wind Power and Exxon. It is
conservation the way it ought to be done, targeted specifically on
the problem, encompassing public and private partners and actions
implemented before species become intensive care patients.

Don Barry has mentioned our Gap Analysis project that — we im-
plemented that as a pioneer grant and is now a major program in
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I have alluded to our private lands program which is probably
our largest portfolio of grants now, and we feel we are making tre-
mendous progress in circumventing the traditional expense of wet-
lands acquisition and the problems associated with wetlands regu-
lation to get landowners to voluntarily work to restore lands, wet-
lands on their lands.

Leadership training encompasses some of the Foundation's earli-
er activities. A Foundation grant created the Fish and Wildlife
Services upper management leadership development program, and
for several years the Foundation taught and organized the entire
program.

The program doesn't teach biology. What it does focus on is com-
munication, conflict resolution, public policy formation, public rela-
tions, marketing, all the skills of the latter 20th Century that are
important to advancing conservation issues that are controversial.
Based on the success of our program, the Service now has a full-
fledged education and training program and a facility being built
in West Virginia that will serve not only the Service but other Fed-
eral agencies.

Today we are in good shape, particularly as we go into fiscal year
1994. Secretary Babbitt has embraced the Foundation and has rec-
ognized the role that we have to contribute. He has asked for the
first increase in our base funding of 50 percent of a request of $7.5



8

million which the House Appropriations Committee has approved
to date.

I want to mention one other area the Foundation has been very
active in and that is serving as a repository for dedicated conserva-
tion accounts. We are currently administering 21 special accounts
at the request of the Fish and Wildlife Service to handle restitu-
tion, mitigation and restoration projects. These range from the Col-
orado River endangered species to routine migratory bird viola-
tions.

Last year, the Foundation was also named as recipient of dona-
tions for the new Partners for Wildlife Act, and we are being con-
sidered as the repository of the Central Valley Project Restoration
Fund.

One important program that does not involve grant making of
the Foundation is our fish and wildlife assessments. These are
books that we publish annually where we document line by line
the needs of the major natural resource agencies. We provide these
books to your Committee, to the Appropriations Committee, and
provide analysis of the on-the-ground needs of these agencies.

A major focus of our current efforts has been the National
Marine Fisheries Service.

Another function of these assessments is to turn our successful
grant prototypes into on-line agency programs. We use them to
highlight programs such as Gap Analysis, the North American Wa-
terfowl Management Plan, the Upper Management Development
Plan, Services Partners for Wildlife Program and recommend them
to Congress for broader implementation.

I am extremely grateful for this Committee for drafting the bill
to reauthorize the Foundation. We support the proposed reauthor-
ization ceiling of $25 million. That is our current level. It is also
the reasonable limit of what we can expect to handle assuming
that we are going to match that sum two or three times.

We also strongly support the inclusion of NOAA as a specific
agency for cooperative projects. We are currently engaged with the
NMFS and NOAA programs and anticipate these two agencies
being recipients of a number of Foundation grants in coming years.

Another change is to expand our board. We feel this is essential.
We now have a budget of $20 million and with next year's proposed
increase that will rise significantly. We need additional board
members to help raise the funds to carry on the operations of the
Foundation, and we support the increased slot — additional slot for
an educated and experienced member of the board.

I have three final points.

First, I hope the Committee understands the importance of
having a nonpartisan board. Throughout our existence, the Foun-
dation has tried to maintain a position of being honest brokers,
consensus builders and nonpartisan in our representations to Con-
gress and all our partners.

Secondly, the Foundation was originally blessed with the ap-
pointment of a State fish and game director. We felt that that ap-
pointment was invaluable, and we welcome future appointments of
fish and game directors within the complement of our board of di-
rectors.



9

Finally, we hope that we can get increased support from Con-
gress for more money. We feel that we are only scratching the sur-
face of the non-Federal sector that will contribute through the
Foundation to support good problem-solving fish and wildlife con-
servation projects.

I think I will close with that. I would just emphasize to the Com-
mittee the Foundation I think is one of the most quietly successful
programs ever funded by the Congress, and we are your baby.
Thank you.

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. Mr. Eno, and for my colleague from Dela-
ware, I would like to advise I have relaxed the time requirements,
although I must advise the witnesses I have been told by staff that
when the red light comes on after five minutes if it stays on too
long it will eventually explode. So it is good you are all wearing
glasses.

Mr. Eno. Could I have my full statement put in the record? I ac-
tually didn't read the whole thing.

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. Without objection, we will have your state-
ment put in the record.

[The statement of Mr. Eno may be found at end of hearing.]

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. At this point, we would be happy to hear
from Mr. Gary Myers, Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Agency on behalf of the International Association of
Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Mr. Myers.

STATEMENT OF GARY MYERS

Mr. Myers. Thank you Mr. Chairman. We are pleased to have
the opportunity to provide input.

With your permission I would like to enter the written testimony
into the record and then elaborate on specific points.

I represented the States in an effort to implement the North
American waterfowl management plans starting in 1986. We raised
$1 million from the States, matched that with $1 million from
Ducks Unlimited, secured a $2 million Federal match, $4 million
from Canada to match that American dollars were converted to Ca-
nadian dollars and spent in Canada on habitats that benefit water-
fowl which comes back to the United States.

It was a very complicated endeavor.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was involved in that
initiative from the very beginning. We worked closely with them as
we tried to secure the Federal funds to match the DU dollars and
State dollars. We were successful.

In subsequent years we still did not have dependable revenue to
fund the North American plan so we again turned to the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation for assistance, matching State dol-
lars, DU dollars etc. We did that for a couple more years, and final-
ly were able to institutionalize things. Now the North American
Waterfowl Management plan is a pretty permanent fixture. I am
eminently familiar with that process.

It is my view that the North American Waterfowl Management
plan would still be sitting on the shelf had it not been for the work
of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.



10

So I think that that speaks to your first question about the effec-
tiveness of the Foundation. It has been very effective. The Founda-
tion served another very important role in tracking money, draft-
ing memorandums of agreement and whatever between the differ-
ent States and different provinces and different groups, providing
services that government bodies had difficulty doing. That was a
very important function.

As time went by, we have been able to take over those types of
duties, and the Foundation has moved to other areas. They are still
involved in the North American plan.

Now to address your second question about how the Internation-
al believes we might increase effectiveness of the Foundation.

I would like to use their neotropical bird initiative to address
that. This is their effort to deal with the declines that they see in
some bird populations. There is not a good management system for
neotropical birds in place in the United States.

Many of the States have ignored the management of songbirds. A
lot of the non-game species have been ignored. We are becoming
aware that there are some declines in these populations. We are
aware that songbird abundance affects the quality of life on this
continent. We see a need to get heavily involved in the manage-
ment of these species, and there are no funds generally in most
States to do that.

I think that the Foundation saw this decline ahead of a lot of the
States. They began to hold the carrot out there to pull States and
the Federal Government and other organizations into initiatives
that address these declines.

If you realize that we are talking habitat across 50 States and in
several countries we are going to need a mighty big carrot to lure
groups into problem solving management ventures. This is really
going to be difficult. You are going to have to cross State bound-
aries, deal with all the Federal land agencies, private land holders
and so forth. The Foundation has to be a key player in this.

I simply make these points to illustrate that there is a massive
need for funding. $25 million may sound like a lot of money to us
in the conservation business but it is not. I would hope you fund
the Foundation at the highest level. That is one way we think the
Foundation's effectiveness could be improved.

Another is that we support the inclusion of a State director on
their board of directors. We think that would be helpful as they do
a lot of business with States.

We believe that you have good legislation. It is a good Founda-
tion. It is serving the purposes which it was designed to serve, and
we in the association are proud of its accomplishments.

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. Thank you, Mr. Myers.

[The statement of Mr. Myers may be found at end of hearing.]

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. We will here from Mr. Mike Dennis, Gen-
eral Counsel to The Nature Conservancy.

STATEMENT OF MIKE DENNIS

Mr. Dennis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, good morning.
I am Mike Dennis. I am the General Counsel and Vice President



11

for The Nature Conservancy. I certainly appreciate the opportunity
to appear here today before the Subcommittee in support of the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the reauthorization of
its legislation.

I could probably say the same things you said earlier, Congress-
man, ditto to what my colleagues have said. But I got my hair cut,
and I got dressed up today so I will make a few brief remarks
anyway to take advantage of it.

The Nature Conservancy is a international nonprofit conserva-
tion organization, and we are primarily interested in preservation
of biological diversity. Over the past 40 years we have made signifi-
cant advances toward this goal. We have helped protect over 6.9
million acres of biologically significant land in the United States,
and we manage a nature preserve system of over 1,600 preserves.
We have done this through the support of over 700,000 members,
800 corporate associates but, most importantly, through partner-
ships with other entities, both private and public.

It is the emphasis on the partnership theme that brings us here
today in strong support of the National Fish and Wildlife Founda-
tion.

My colleagues have talked about the mission of the Foundation
and the legislative mandate under which they operate, but I would
like to emphasize one of the mandates under the legislation and
that is the matching requirements. A good partner brings money to
the table. A great partner brings money and encourages other
people to bring money to the table, too.

I think it bears repeating what my colleague, Mr. Eno, said of
the $28 million in Federal funds that have gone into the program,
that has been expanded to over $90 million for conservation
projects, totaling 785 projects. From the point of view of The
Nature Conservancy in forging partnerships that is just an as-
tounding statistic. We are very proud to work with the Foundation.

Mr. Eno has mentioned many of the initiatives ranging from
wetlands partnerships, the neotropical migratory bird project and
others. What I would like to do is mention a few of the projects
that we have worked on which demonstrate the success of this pro-
gram.

Since 1988, we have been involved in 43 projects in 20 States in
the United States and in Mexico and Costa Rica with the Fish and
Wildlife Foundation. The $3.7 million in Federal funds that have
come through this program to The Conservancy have been matched
by $7.5 million of private funds. So we expanded that into $11.5
million worth of conservation projects. Most of these would not
have been accomplished without the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation, not only the support but the leadership and expertise
in the association.

A few examples — Congressman Ravenel left the room — but one
of the most important projects we have is the ACE Basin of South
Carolina. Between 1989 and 1991, the Foundation made grants in
excess of $400,000 which have been used for land acquisition, fund-
ing of a private landowner contact person and funding also the bio-
logical inventory of two of the huge plantations, Mary's Island and
the Cheeha-Combahee plantation. These were the building blocks



12

that led to the protection of several hundred thousand acres in the
basin.

We have been involved in projects up and down the coast in
Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. There is a multi-state partner-
ship program that conducted a survey of critical habitats.

In New York, there was a $75,000 grant which funded the acqui-
sition, restoration and management of over 35,000 acres of wet-
lands in Montezuma, New York.

Close to home. Chapter Point on the Nanticoke River, the Foun-
dation made a $250,000 grant which was matched with $750,000
from the State of Maryland which led to protection of over 1,500
acres of bald eagle habitat and also habitat for many species of mi-
gratory waterfowl.

In Texas, at the Mad Island Marsh, the Foundation is a key part-
ner in a five-year, comprehensive program of habitat protection,
restoration and ecological management and land acquisition to pro-
tect over 10,000 acres of the Mad Island Marsh ecosystem. This is
typical of a project funded by the Foundation. It involves The
Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, North American Wetlands
Conservation Council, Dow Chemical, private landowners, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and several others.

At the Parrott Ranch in California, the Foundation was a pivotal
player in the acquisition of 18,000 acres of wetlands which support
an abundance of waterfowl and other wetland species. Once again,
this involved all the partners mentioned above.

I see the yellow light is on, and I will close with a couple of quick
comments.

First of all, we feel that the Foundation has forged and jump-
started many creative partnerships since its inception in 1984 and
should be commended for that and should continue to do the same
type of work.

Secondly, the leveraging of $28.5 million into $90 million. We
cannot overstate how impressive that is, being a private sector or-
ganization, to leverage money like that is almost unheard of on a
two-to-one basis.

Finally, we would like to emphasize that we strongly support the
reauthorization of the legislation. We strongly support the amend-
ments that have been suggested. We support the $25 million a year
authorization level, bringing NO A A in as a specified agency for co-
operative projects and perhaps most importantly expanding the
board from 9 to 15 Members.

The board of The Nature Conservancy is critical to its funding
success. We would like to emphasize the importance of expanding
the board of the Fish and Wildlife Foundation. They are lean, cost-
effective. They operate in a nonpartisan way, nonlitigious. They
bring to the diverse organizations and groups with outstanding re-
sults. The Foundation deserves full support and the continued con-
fidence of the Committee.

I thank you for this opportunity to testify today and would like
to submit my written comments for the record.

Mr. HoCHBRUECKNER. Thank you, Mr. Dennis. Yes, all of your
comments will be officially entered into the record.

Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Dennis may be found at end of hearing.]



13

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. At this point we will hear from Mr. Scott
Sutherland, Director of Federal regulations for Ducks Unlimited.
Mr. Sutherland.

STATEMENT OF SCOTT SUTHERLAND

Mr. Sutherland. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to
come before you today to talk about the partnership between the
500,000 members of my organization and the Fish and Wildlife
Foundation.

Ducks Unlimited has been working on wildlife habitat protection
and conservation for 55 years. In our earlier days, we concentrated
on raising money here in the United States from our members and
doing habitat work with that money chiefly up in Canada on the
bird breeding grounds in the prairies there. Most of that work was
done as a sole entity with Ducks Unlimited.

More recently in the 1980's and 1990's, we have expanded our
work on habitat in the United States and increasingly done
projects in conjunction with partners.

It seems that in today's world of conservation, partnerships be-
tween various members of the public and private sector are the
route of making limited resources both on the government side,
and on the private side, go much further and accomplish joint
goals. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has been instru-
mental in bridging that gap, acting as a catalyst in forming those
partnerships and is one of Ducks Unlimited's finest partners.

The record of the Foundation shows that they have been pio-
neers in many areas that need attention, far beyond the scope of
the things that Ducks Unlimited works on but that we are support-
ive of nonetheless.

From their work on writing the annual needs assessment of a va-
riety of Federal agencies, creation of the Partners in Flight pro-
gram, their support in training and action, and putting that train-
ing into action for Federal wildlife professionals is unprecedented.
It is ground breaking and very, very commendable.

The bulk of the work that Ducks Unlimited has done with the
Foundation involves the North American Waterfowl Management
Plan which you heard mentioned several times. The Foundation,
along with Ducks Unlimited and the State governments, as Mr.
Myers mentioned, initiated a program and encouraged all of us to
share the burden of restoring wetlands habitat in the three coun-
tries of North America in order to ensure continued population of
migratory birds and other wetlands wildlife.

Coincidently, the work that Ducks Unlimited does with the
Foundation also helps accomplish goals on some of the other
project area initiatives that the Foundation has. An example might
be the tremendous neotropical and shorebird benefits realized on
the huge number of projects that we have done with the Founda-
tion, quite a number of projects in the southern United States and
western United States.

We have done some large scale projects with the Foundation.
Some of them have been mentioned.

The ACE Basin that Mike talked about, we are very proud of
that. The Foundation is instrumental in protecting a 25-mile-long



14

watershed, the largest undeveloped piece of ground along the At-
lantic seaboard. It is a cooperative effort — apart from what you
hear about private landowners being opposed to conservation, this
is a partnership that DU, the Foundation, TNC, and the States,
have forged which the local landowners have taken a leading role
in and are very supportive of. The Foundation is right in the
middle of that.

Also, I wanted to mention another California project, the Co-
sumnes River Preserve. Again TNC, Ducks Unlimited, the Founda-
tion, State of California, many other partners are involved there, a
great project. The Foundation just helped ensure acquisition of one
of the last key pieces of the core of that project, called the Crane
Ranch area.

Interestingly enough, we have seen immediate response from wa-
terfowl and other kinds of wildlife on this project. I talked with
some of our folks in California last week, and they said that this
year with the water and the availability of the property there they
actually saw Asian varieties of ducks and waterfowl, water birds
coming across into this area of California where they had not seen
them in the past. It drew a tremendous amount of visitors from
San Francisco and Sacramento. And that is a project that is spark-
ing a lot of interest and public enthusiasm.

Very briefly, that is just one of the partnerships we have under-
taken.

One of the things that we hope that you folks will encourage
your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to do — we sup-
port raising of the ceiling for the permanence of the $25 million.
We hope you work with your Appropriations Committee colleagues
to ensure that that amount is appropriated for the Foundation.
Money remains a challenge to the Foundation, and there are more
things that we could do if there were more funds available and
things we would like to do. I hope that you will support that.

Finally, one of the things that we hope that the Subcommittee
and staff can look at and perhaps clarify as they complete their
work on this legislation is clarifying that about the matching re-
quirements for projects done under the auspices of the Foundation.
We very much support the matching requirement.

As Mike mentioned, it is really historic and unprecedented. It
has done so much good work having the two-to-one match. We
want to encourage them to look at the matching requirement and
clarify just what they mean by the requirements for matches and
that all partners involved in the matching situation are working
under the same set of facts and rules there.

In conclusion — I see the red light is on and I don't want it to ex-
plode in front of Gary — but I just want to thank the Committee
and the Subcommittee for its support of the Foundation. We sup-
port it. It is a great actor in the conservation community. We look
forward to working with you on it and hope you continue to sup-
port it.

Thank you.

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. Thank you, Mr. Sutherland.

[The statement of Mr. Sutherland may be found at end of hear-
ing.]



15

Mr. HocHBRUECKNER. We thank all of the panelists for their
input.

At this point, I have a general question that I would like each of
you to answer if you care to. At that point, we can go to individual
members, and then I have a series of questions from Chairman
Studds for you as individual panelists.

The general question for all of you would be why has the Nation-
al Fish and Wildlife Foundation been such a great success while
other clones like the National Parks Foundation have been less
successful? What is the secret ingredient? What do you think
makes the difference and has been so positive about the Founda-
tion?

We can start with Mr. Barry, if you would like to comment.

Mr. Barry. I don't intend to comment one way or the other re-
garding the Parks Foundation because I am not really familiar
with the track record. I feel it would be inappropriate for me to
compare them with how the Fish and Wildlife Foundation works.


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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 2 of 14)