Memorandum of Understanding Between North American Nature Photography Association And The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Through The National Wildlife Refuge System

I. Backgound/Authority

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is made and entered into between the North American Nature Photography Association, hereinafter referred to as "NANPA" and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, hereinafter referred to as the "Service." NANPA is the principal membership Organization in North America focusing on nature and environmental photography. The Service is the principal Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility for carrying out programs related to fish and wildlife conservation throughout the Nation in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711); Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 712); The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742 a-j); the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661-667e); The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee); and with other authorities.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this MOU is to provide a framework upon which NANPA, its membership and the Service can build partnerships in support of fish and wildlife conservation, education and nature photography, with particular emphasis on the National Wildlife Refuge System (System).

III. Introduction

Whereas the Service is the Nation's leading Federal fish and wildlife management agency.

Whereas the Service manages, for the public good, over 540 refuges and wetland management districts comprising over 92 million acres.

Whereas the System provides exceptional opportunities for compatible wildlife-dependent recreation, including photography.

Whereas the Service is implementing the March, 1996 Executive Order 12996, which directs the Secretary of Interior to expand opportunities for priority public uses of the System while ensuring that the biological integrity and environmental health of the System is maintained.

Whereas the Service has statutory responsibility to ensure that permitted uses of refuge lands are compatible with the purposes for which individual refuges were established.

Whereas NANPA has established goals to provide education, foster professionalism and ethical conduct, gather and disseminate information, develop standards for nature photographers and promote nature photography as an art form and a medium of communication for the sciences, nature appreciation and environmental protection.

Whereas members of NANPA regularly visit national wildlife refuges for the purpose of nature photography, including photographic workshops.

Whereas NANPA provides a forum for effective communication amongst its members and others interested in nature photography about issues of common interest to NANPA and the Service.

Whereas both NANPA and the Service have certain common interests and responsibilities that include, but are not limited to: (1) conservation of fish and wildlife, (2) access to public lands, (3) promotion of compatible uses, (4) ethical conduct of nature photographers, and (5) the use of photography in support of environmental education.

Now Therefore, in consideration of the above premises, the Parties agree as follows:

IV. Mutual Responsibilities:

The Service and NANPA shall:

Cooperate to promote compatible and ethical use of Service lands for nature photography.

Work together to resolve issues of mutual concern, such as photographer access, administrative fees and consistency in policy direction and implementation.

Identify and pursue opportunities for collaboration on both refuge-specific and national projects and programs, such as (but not limited to), publications, development of interpretive exhibits, photographic workshops, product marketing, partnerships with industry, youth programs, scholarships, staff training, national meetings, facilities development and media outreach.

Promote the use of nature photography in Service environmental education programs.

V. General Principles

No member or delegate to Congress, or resident Commissioner, shall be admitted to any share or part of this agreement, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom, but this provision shall not be construed to extend to this agreement if made with a corporation for its general benefit.

Nothing in this MOU shall obligate the Service or NANPA to any present or future expenditure of funds, or prevent the other from carrying out photography programs with other agencies, organizations or individuals.

This MOU is neither a fiscal or a funds obligation document. Any endeavor involving reimbursement or contribution of funds between the Parties of this MOU will be handled in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and procedures including those for Government procurement and printing. Such endeavors will be outlined in separate agreements that shall be made in writing and authorized by appropriate statutory authority. This MOU does not establish authority for noncompetitive award to NANPA or of any contract or other agreement. Any contract or agreement must comply with all applicable requirements for competition.

Work projects or activities that involve transfer of money, service or property shall require execution of a separate agreement. The type of instrument will be determined by the nature of the activity and the manner in which NANPA and the Service propose to share the resources.

The recipient organization shall establish safeguards to ensure that Service funds are properly spent. In particular, except nonprofit organizations that are subject to the lobbying provisions of paragraph B.21x of OMB Circular A-122 (see also 341 U.S.C. Section 1352), it will assure that funds are not used for partisan or political activity.

Any project or activity within an area of the National Wildlife Refuge System related to this MOU must comply with the definition of compatible uses described in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manual.

NANPA shall not publicize, or otherwise circulate, promotional material which states or implies Governmental or Government employment endorsement of a product that NANPA represents. No release of information relating to this MOU may state or imply that the Government approves of NANPA's work product or considers NANPA's work product to be superior to other products or services.

With regards to this MOU, and activities thereunder, NANPA must obtain prior approval from the Service, and the Service must obtain prior approval from NANPA, for any public information releases, by the respective Party, which refer to either the Department of the Interior, the Service, NANPA or this agreement. The specific text, layout, photographs, etc. of the proposed release must be submitted to the other Party with a request for approval.

Amendments or modifications to this MOU may be made upon written consent of both Parties. This agreement is valid until terminated following a 30 day written notice by either Party.

The Parties agree to review and assess the effectiveness of the program and the MOU on a 6 month basis.

In Witness Whereof, the Parties hereto have executed this MOU as of the last date written below.


Signed Jane S. Kinne Oct. 8, 1997 Signed Jamie Rapport Clark Oct. 8, 1997
President Director
North American
Nature Photography Association
Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior