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

I. Authority

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is made and entered into between the National Rifle Association of America, hereinafter referred to as the "NRA", and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, hereinafter referred to as the "Service. The Service is the principal Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility for carrying out programs relating to fish and wildlife conservation throughout the Nation, in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16. U.S.C. 701711); Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 712); Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a - 7425); and with other authorities.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the MOU is to establish a framework upon which the NRA and its affiliated organizations and Service officials may cooperatively plan and accomplish mutually beneficial work projects or activities. Such activities or projects would complement the Service's mission and be in the best interests of the public as well as the-wildlife resources and their habitats.

III. Introduction

Whereas, the Service is the Nation's leading fish and wildlife management and research organization.

Whereas, the Service manages, for the public good, over 480 refuges comprising roughly 90 million acres and other lands with a wide variety of fish, wildlife and recreational opportunities.

Whereas, the NRA desires to promote the conservation of wildlife resources, encourage hunter ethics and safety, promote and defend hunting as a shooting sport and as a viable and necessary method of fostering the propagation, growth, conservation, and wise use of the Nation's renewable wildlife resources.

Whereas, there are numerous local, independent NRA-affiliated organizations and other entities which share NRA's interests, which may desire to provide support, assistance (labor) and/or funds to the Service for accomplishment of mutually-beneficial projects or activities.

Whereas, both the NRA and the Service have certain common interests and responsibilities which include 1) maintaining and enhancing the productivity of wildlife habitat, 2) improving public access to public lands, 3) enhancing opportunities for hunting and hunting-related experiences, 4) exploring opportunities for non-consumptive wildlife use, and 5) promoting the concept of wise stewardship for Service lands.

Whereas, both the Service and the NRA are in support of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior's "Enjoy Outdoors America" initiative which has as its goal to promote the responsible use and enjoyment of public lands, including hunting.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above premises, the parties agree as follows:

IV. The NRA Shall:

A. Encourage local, independent NRA-affiliated organizations to meet with representatives of local Service offices to discuss and identify opportunities for cooperative work on mutually beneficial projects or activities. Wildlife habitat management projects and activities are examples of such cooperative opportunities.

B. Advise the Service of the public's needs and concerns regarding the management of the National Wildlife Refuge System lands.

C. Work with the Service to establish and implement information and educational programs oriented toward the conservation, ethical use and enjoyment of natural resources. Projects may include, but are not limited to, symposia, conferences, scholarships, and conservation communications training.

V. The Service Shall:

A. Encourage Refuge unit and other Service officials to participate with the national NRA and local, independent NRA-affiliated organizations toward development of mutually beneficial work projects or activities.

B. Identify National Wildlife Refuge System lands available for the furtherance of this MOU, subject to applicable Federal laws, regulations, Refuge Unit plans, and State comprehensive plans for the affected area, and subject to approval by the organization head or its designated representative.

C. Ensure that the NRA is aware of opportunities to participate in public involvement processes and events, especially those dealing with planning, implementation, and evaluation of land management activities.

VI. It Is Mutually Agreed And Understood By And Between The Said Parties That:

1. Work projects or activities which involve transfer of money, services, 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 the NRA and the Service propose to share resources. Such transfers will comply with applicable acquisition or grant requirements.

2. The recipient organization shall establish safeguards to ensure that Service funds are properly spent. In particular, except nonprofit organizations which are subject to the lobbying provisions of paragraph B.21 of OMB Circular A-122 (see also 31 U.S.C. Section 1352), it will assure that funds are not used for partisan or political activity purposes.

Amendments or modifications to this MOU may be made upon written consent of both parties. This agreement is valid from the date of signature through September 30, 1997.

This MOU shall remain in effect 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 annually.

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


signed: John F. Turner 12/17/92

Director Date
Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior
    signed: Wayne LaPierre 12/17/92

Executive Vice President Date
National Rifle Association