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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation : oversight hearing before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans of the Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on the effectiveness of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and projects th online

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support census and survey work about interactions between hun-
ters and tourists and the effects on walrus in Alaska, and as much
as $9.5 million to assist the Service with land acquisitions along
the Mississippi River in the aftermath of the 1993 floods.

The Foundation is matching a generous private donation toward
the construction of a state-of-the-art environmental education cen-
ter at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge outside of Philadel-
phia. This simply wouldn't have happened without the Foundation.

The Foundation is bringing nonFederal funds to very important
conservation efforts, and perhaps one of the best examples is the
private funding which they have helped leverage to support the
Natural Communities Conservation planning process in California.
They have brought over 3 million nonFederal dollars to that criti-
cally important process in Riverside, Orange, and San Diego Coun-
ties in California.

The Foundation is assisting the Service in its Partners for Wild-
life Program, which provides advice and minor construction serv-
ices to private landowners seeking to protect or restore wetlands on
their property. This private lands program has been enormously
popular with landowners throughout the country. And the Founda-
tion's assistance has included grants to the Wisconsin Waterfowl
Association, to Ducks Unlimited in the Central Valley of California,
and to the Delta Wildlife Foundation in Mississippi.

The Foundation has been very helpful to the Service in promot-
ing conservation of fisheries and neotropical migratory birds. The
plight of neotropical birds, which most people know as songbirds
like bluebirds and hummingbirds, is becoming increasingly aware.
The reasons we don't fully understand, but they are certainly
linked to habitat loss and fragmentation in the breeding and win-
tering grounds for our songbirds.

Through the Partners in Flight Program, which was initiated by
the Foundation in 1990, in which the Service is a leading partici-
pant, private landowners around the country and internationally
are being encouraged to take steps to make their land better habi-
tat for these birds. The response, again, has been overwhelmingly
positive and is a voluntary approach to conservation.

The Foundation is becoming increasingly active and effective in
helping conserve our fishery resources — providing grants to help re-
store the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho and grants to
help sportfishing groups restore land along the Kenai River in

We believe the Foundation is functioning extremely well and as
Congress originally envisioned. The grant program complements
the priorities of the Fish and Wildlife Service and, in many cases,
provides benefits which could not be obtained by appropriating a
like amount to the Service or any other governmental body.


This is true because the Foundation has the ability to leverage
this money through fundraising, and because as a private entity,
the Foundation is often welcomed where the Federal Government
simply isn't. We don't have any recommendations for changes to
the Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act at this time. We simply urge
your continued support for the Foundation and ask your help in se-
curing the funding requested in the Administration's budget which
includes $6 million through the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Just to summarize, I know you are going to hear a lot today
about lawsuits and funding of different organizations by the Foun-
dation. And I would just like to add that not only do I believe we
are not being sued as a result of the activities of the Foundation,
I am convinced that we are being sued less as a result of the work
of the Foundation because of their focus on building partnerships
and building consensus to achieve practical conservation results.

And also last night as I was going over my testimony, I am not
a very technological person, but there was a time about eight years
ago when we didn't have a microwave in our house. And right now
I don't know how I would get along without a microwave oven. And
there was a time when we got along without the Fish and Wildlife
Foundation, but I can't imagine how we would get along with them
today. Thank you.

[Statement of Mr. Ashe may be found at end of hearing.]

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much, Mr. Ashe. Mr. Eno.


Mr. Eno. Mr. Chairman, my written testimony sets forth the
basic philosophical style underpinning the Foundation, our operat-
ing record of accomplishment since we initiated grant programs in
1986, and our day to day modus operandi.

We have provided a track record of quiet accomplishment that is
largely unheralded, but, nonetheless, a record of extraordinary
achievement. The Foundation is a great success story in the history
of American conservation.

Starting in 1986 with a staff of one person and not a dime in the
bank, we have made over 1,300 grants, placing $190 million into
on-the-ground conservation activities. We have pioneered dozens of
new conservation programs ranging from implementing the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan; Partners in Flight for
neotropical birds; Bring Back the Natives Program for Forest Serv-
ice and BLM; Park Service's Boston Harbor Island Initiative; and
the establishment of the Conservation Plan for Sterling Forest in
New York and New Jersey.

We have underwritten the development of new technologies rang-
ing from GIS gap analysis, the original prototype in Idaho, now the
principal species in landscape data source in over 35 states, to a
semipermeable membrane device, which has revolutionized water
quality monitoring and sampling procedures.

We have eschewed a membership and, thus, have not engaged in
advocacy or litigation. We do no direct mail so the Postal Service
owes us infinite gratitude, as does your clutter index and your
mailbox. And we have maintained a strictly bipartisan orientation
in this most partisan, controversial public policy arena.

We were created by a Republican Senate and a Democratic
House during the midst of the Reagan Administration. As Presi-
dent Reagan said when he signed our original legislation, if you
will let me paraphrase, "I really don't know what to make of this
entity. It is not government, yet it is tied to government. It is nei-
ther fish nor fowl." But President Reagan signed our legislation be-
cause he recognized the fundamental need to build a bridge be-
tween the public and private sectors.

We have reached out to all comers, going well beyond our origi-
nal host and statutorily designated agencies — first, the Fish and
Wildlife Service, then Commerce, the National Marine Fisheries
Service, and NOAA. We have an ongoing program with the USDA's
Forest Service and NRCS, Interior's BLM, Bureau of Rec, OSM,
the State Department's AID, and multiple partners in the Defense

As you know, most fish and wildlife migrate across political and
bureaucratic boundaries. No single agency manages our wildlife so
we work with everyone. Rummaging through our annual list of
grants is like turning over a bowl of Campbell's alphabet soup. You
name a Federal agency, and we have done business with them. We
have projects and have worked in all 50 states, all Canadian prov-
inces, and 17 foreign countries.

We have reached out to involve corporate America in an unprece-
dented fashion to make them active partners in the business of fish
and wildlife. Dow Chemical gave the largest conservation cash gift
in history, $3 million for wetlands. Our current partners include
Chevrolet, Anheuser Busch, Busch Gardens, Exxon, Phillips Petro-
leum, Georgia-Pacific, Champion, Bass Pro, Orvis, just to name a
few. Exxon has just committed $5 million for the conservation of
the tiger, an endangered species.

On April 24, Speaker Gingrich gave a speech on national envi-
ronmental policy. Looking back over the environmental ground cov-
ered by the last three decades, he noted, and I am quoting, "As a
management principle, what you want is to find a way of exacting
the best possible environment with the widest involvement of peo-

Then he elaborated on an emerging new environmentalism. I was
glad to see the Speaker acknowledge that, "We have now had a
quarter of a century of effort, which I think in values was exactly
right, and in goals was overwhelmingly right. But in process and
style, it had two major weaknesses. The first," and I am still
quoting, "was the instinct in the early 70's to create a centralized
bureaucratic litigation model." The second problem he said was,
"An adversarial style which assured that only the acolytes and high
priests of the environmental movement were pure, and everybody
else was inherently evil."

In describing his new environmentalism, the Speaker submitted,
"It is first of all committed to strong standards but in a cooperative
rather than a confrontational basis, and, second, it is science
based." I think the Speaker is surfing for the elusive third wave of
the environmental movement, and let me put this in perspective.

The first wave began when Teddy Roosevelt, at the beginning of
the century, campaigned to protect resources by establishing na-
tional forests, parks, and refuges. The second wave crested with


Rachel Carson's warning on toxic contamination in our environ-
ment; ushered in Dennis Hay and the Earth Days of the 70's.

At this point, a Democratic Congress and President Nixon
teamed up to push through the National Environmental Policy Act,
and the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species Acts that to-
gether provide the regulatory underpinning for today's bureaucratic

What has been missing in this equation for the past 30 years has
been the active involvement in the private sector, private land-
owners, and corporate America. Today, we are witnessing th-e first
pulses of that third wave of our nation's environmental tide. This
wave addresses what has been missing, the enthusiastic participa-
tion and leadership of the private sector and the assumption by
local communities of responsibility for their environment.

The Foundation is out front riding this wave. I think the Founda-
tion is the functional embodiment of what the Speaker is after. One
of the difficulties of trying to plot a new operational pathway of cul-
tural organizational behavior is the need for models for guideposts.

But I submit the Foundation is a living, breathing example of
what the Speaker is contemplating. We work with all comers. We
have been inclusive since day one. We are nonadversarial. The core
of our business and a key of our ability to successfully match and
leverage Federal funds is through the creation of partnerships^
large and small, site specific, or transboundary.

Secondly, all our grants and programs are firmly grounded in or
have come to embody the best science available. All our grants
were reviewed — peer reviewed at the Federal, State, and private
levels, and routinely by the resource industry.

Mr. Chairman, when Congressman Breaux and his successor.
Congressman Studds, passed legislation giving birth to the Foun-
dation, I don't think they had an inkling of what their foundling
would grow into. But we have metamorphosed into a real, live
phoenix that may well be the living characterization of the new
environmentalism to which the Speaker referred.

If what he is seeking, and both sides of the aisle have been bat-
tered by controversies inherent in environmental issues for dec-
ades, I submit the Foundation is an organization worth bipartisan
support and nurturing. And being in this hearing room, I note
former Congressmen Fors3rthe and Silvio Conte would certainly
agree. Thank you.

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

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much, Mr. Eno. Mr. Peterson,
would you like to proceed?


Mr. Peterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have my state-
ment in full. If you will accept it for the record, I will save you
some time by briefing it.

As you know, Mr. Chairman, our organization represents the 50
state fish and wildlife agencies in the United States, and we work
with similar agencies in Canada and Mexico.


I think the first thing we should recognize is that the Foundation
is known for forging a number of very effective partnerships be-
tween the public and the private sector to provide a lot of on-the-
ground solutions to natural resources problems.

We talk a lot about cooperation. We talk a lot about partnerships
between the private, State, and Federal sectors, but we don't see
very much action when it comes down to cases. I think the Founda-
tion is one in which you see some on-the-ground partnerships in ac-

One of our directors, Willie Molini of Nevada, served a number
of years on the board of this Foundation. I might point out he is
the same person that is a leader in the West in trying to solve
some of the problems between livestock grazing and big game. It
is our effort called seeking common ground.

I think Congresswoman Chenoweth and others know about that
effort. We found if we get people together on the ground to look at
problems and attorneys and others who like to go to court out of
the process, and say, "What can we do about this?", solutions
emerge that everybody agrees to. So we have very much then been
in favor of the kind of things that we have seen the Foundation do
over the years.

In looking at the record of what the Foundation has done, there
are 1,337 grants that total $190.5 million over the years since it
has been in place. Let me spotlight just a few of what I consider
the major problems that have been tackled by the Foundation.

One of the first problems tackled by the Foundation was the rap-
idly declining waterfowl population in the United States in 1985
and '86; working with the states and organizations like Ducks Un-
limited and with counterparts in Canada. The key ingredient was
putting together funding that we called step one, step two, and step
three, which was directed to rehabilitation of wetlands in Canada
and in the United States.

And had it not been for that effort, I think we would not have
seen the dramatic reversal of the waterfowl numbers that we have
seen in states like New Jersey and Maryland, and even in the
central valley of Idaho. We have seen a great increrase in the num-
bers of waterfowl coming to the United States.

That was because of early effort and cooperative ventures be-
tween the private, the State and the public sector to really start
doing something about understanding what was happening to those
waterfowl populations and doing some rehabilitation of key wet-
lands mainly through joint financing on cooperative effort with

We now see almost a record number of some species, particularly
the duck population in the United States. Unfortunately, the goose
population has not come back as fast, but it is on the way. It will
take several more years.

The Foundation also provided important leadership, as was men-
tioned already, to Partners in Flight and neotropical migratory
birds. We don't think much about those critters, but unless we do
something voluntarily in a nonregulatory way with those critters,
we end up finding more and more of them are threatened and en-


In most cases, very small, voluntary things can be done by land-
owners. The Foundation has no regulatory role, and we would not
suggest it ever had one. It is purely a voluntary effort to bring peo-
ple together to do good things.

Now, let me hasten to add that no organization bats 1,000. If you
give 1,337 grants, you may give a grant to somebody who ends up
doing something you don't like. But you don't control their agenda
when you give an organization a grant. You don't control their fu-
ture agenda.

I have some battle scars from having been sued by some of the
organizations that Congresswoman Chenoweth mentioned. And I
don't agree with some of the things that they do. They sometimes
do some good things too.

One of the hopes in the future is we can reduce the polarization
between different groups And one way we can reduce polarization
is by getting groups to work together and fmd out they do have
more in common than they have that divides them.

So I think we need to not concentrate on the half a dozen grants
that maybe should not have been made or at least nobody knew
what they were going to do in the future at the time the grant was
made and didn't know they were going to do some things that
maybe we didn't like. But I think it would be a great disservice to
the important work that has been done by the Foundation to focus
on those few cases.

Our organization has been known, for example, to sue the Sec-
retary of Interior, but that doesn't mean we don't work effectively
with the Secretary of Interior on other things. In fact, we are as-
sisting in a suit right now against the Secretary of Interior involv-
ing Alaska. We are not a litigant, but we are providing assistance
because we don't agree with some things that are happening with
fisheries there.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we support the reauthorization of
the Foundation. We would also support keeping a State fish and
wildlife director on the board to be sensitive to what is happening
in the states, a tie with the governors and others in the State, to
be sure that the Foundation has that kind of tie. But I think in
balance, the Foundation has done a splendid job and should be re-
authorized and should receive this committee's support. Thank you,
Mr. Chairman.

[Statement of Mr. Peterson may be found at end of hearing.]

Mr. Saxton. I want to thank all of you for your very articulate
testimony. As you have observed, Mrs. Chenoweth has stayed with
us at my invitation, and thank you for staying. What we are going
to do is I am going to ask some questions which have occurred to
me, and then we are going to move directly to Mrs. Chenoweth so
that she can also pursue answers to the questions that she is inter-
ested in.

I have noted that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has
apparently been involved in providing $168 million worth of fund-
ing to a variety of conservation projects. And if I do my simple
arithmetic correctly, while noting that almost $48 million of this
has come from the Federal Government, that comes out to an aver-
age of about $4 million a year from the Federal appropriators, and


that turns into about $14 million a year through money coming
from other sources. Do I have that right?

Mr. Eno. Yes, sir. And just recognizing over the 10 years of our
existence, the match level has been consistently increasing over
time. We started originally with a one-to-one match requirement,
which we achieved in our first couple of years. Then we started
leveraging our money harder.

For several years, we averaged better than $2 for every Federal
dollar, and last year $2.37 for every Federal dollar. This year, I
think it is close to $2.50, and we are now approaching a three-to-
one match. So on our own initiative, we have been increasing the
match and the leverage to stretch Federal dollars; make them go
farther; earn more.

Mr. Saxton. Now, I have had some experience with some organi-
zations that you may be involved with. Are you involved with the
Trust for Public Land? Are they one of the benefactors?

Mr. Eno. We have given I think — I would have to double-check
with my staff, but I believe about five grants to the Trust for Public
Lands. Yes, sir.

Mr. Saxton. Now, the Trust for Public Land in their activities
in New Jersey have been very helpful, and I don't know that they
have ever sued anyone. We have been embarked on a program in
New Jersey to try to save some land that is particularly important
to migratory waterfowl. It used to be known as the Brigantine
Wildlife Refuge. It is now known as the Edwin Forsythe Wildlife

The Trust for Public Land uses their funds to acquire land, take
title to that land in their name, and then convey that land to the
Fish and Wildlife Service when the Fish and Wildlife Service has
funds available to take title. Now, you contribute to that process,
do you?

Mr. Eno. All of our grants are site and project specific, and I
would have to look at my New Jersey grants to find out if we did
a grant with TPL at Brigantine, for example. We do not give grants
generally to organizations. And as with Congresswoman
Chenoweth's testimony, we don't give grants to any of the organiza-
tions she enumerated which could be used for other activities. They
are all site and project specific.

For example, the Pacific Rivers Council grant, which is of con-
cern to her, was given to a specific project — restoring Knowles
Creek, which was a very important salmon spawning stream. At
the time, it was totally degraded — only 3,000 spawning fish. They
rebuilt the structure of the stream with money coming fromx Han-
cock Timber and other partners. Three years later, that stream had
60,000 spawning fish.

The lawsuit that they initiated three years subsequent to that
grant was funded by the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. None of
our money was used in the lawsuit. None of our money, since it
had already been spent three years previously paying for the bull-
dozers to move the rocks and rebuild the stream, was pertinent to
the subsequent actions. But all of our grants go to projects.

My board is very concerned about on-the-ground conservation,
not underwriting organizations per se, no matter how meritorious


they are. We rarely give a grant, whether it is to TPL, TNC, or
anybody else, just to underwrite an organization.

Mr. Saxton. Can you explain the nature of your site-specific
grants on a broader basis?

Mr. Eno. Well, Congressman, we now have five grant programs.
Education — an example of an education grant would be the new
New York City-Manhattan High School for the Environment with
an environmental curriculum. We are developing curriculums for
State governments on environmental education, which we are
doing at the University of Wisconsin; Project Wet, Project Wild,
which we do in cooperation with the State fish and game agencies.

Fisheries — for our grants we have made the Pacific Northwest a
priority — of which several of the other speakers will address — site-
specific grants; restoring streams to bring back salmon. The same
thing on the coast of Maine. We have taken out a dam in North
Carolina, which opened a river to spawning streams. We bought
the Greenland Fishery — the high seas fishery that saves the Fed-
eral Government millions of dollars on salmon recovery.

Neotropical birds — a focus has been habitat acquisition. We have
done grants in southern New Jersey, for example, on acquiring bird
habitat; coming up with better ways to monitor and research birds.

Wetlands tend to be mostly site specific — acquiring wetlands. For
the last five years, most of our work on wetlands has been focused
on private landowners.

And in endangered species, we have a lot of grants that are spe-
cific to species where our focus is now in keeping species ofi" the
list. And I can think of three grants that have specifically kept spe-
cies off the list — California with burrowing owls, ferruginous owls
in Texas, and hopefully the Project SHARE with Atlantic salmon
in Maine.

Mr. Saxton. Now, this is my final question because my time has
expired. Are you saying that it is unlikely or impossible that any
of these moneys could have been funneled through these organiza-
tions for other purposes?

Mr. Eno. I would answer it is unlikely, and we have been au-
dited several times, including by the IG — Inspector General of Inte-
rior — and we have no evidence — none — that any of these moneys
have been used for the purposes that the allegations have made.

Mr. Saxton. Thank you very much. Mrs. Chenoweth.

Mr. Eno. Such usage would be a violation of our grant contract,
excuse me, as well.

Mrs. Chenoweth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that I
made it pretty clear, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Eno, in my testimony
that in the case of the Pacific Rivers Foundation, you simply sup-
plemented funds, but you have given direct funding to the Environ-
mental Defense Fund in the amount of $308,000, Defenders of
Wildlife in the amount of $149,000. And these people are not en-
gaged in basketweaving. They are engaged in litigation.

I wanted to say, Mr. Chairman, few people can get my ear like

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Online LibraryWildlife United States. Congress. House. Committee on ResouNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation : oversight hearing before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans of the Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on the effectiveness of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and projects th → online text (page 2 of 11)