This Memorandum of Understanding is between the Department of the Air Force (hereinafter referred to as Air Force), and the Department of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as Interior).
WHEREAS, Air Force administers the Matagorda Air Force Range on approximately 35,240 acres on Matagorda Island, Calhoun County, Texas, and
WHEREAS, Interior administers the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Aransas County, Texas, to provide habitat for the whooping crane, a species which is threatened with extinction, and other wildlife. The whooping crane also utilizes lands on Matagorda Island administered by the Air Force as part of its wintering habitat, and
WHEREAS, the Endangered Species Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 668aa) states "that it is the policy of the Congress that the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Defense, together with the heads of bureaus, agencies, and services within their departments, shall seek to protect species of native fish and wildlife, including migratory birds, that are threatened with extinction, and insofar as is practicable and consistent with the primary purposes of such bureaus, agencies, and services, shall preserve the habitats of such threatened species on lands under their jurisdiction," and
WHEREAS, Interior is the agency in the U.S. Government responsible for conservation and management of the national migratory bird resource, including whooping cranes, and has a primary responsibility for protecting species that are threatened with extinction, and
WHEREAS, Interior has expressed a desire to administer an area on Matagorda Island as a national wildlife refuge to meet its responsibilities for the whooping crane, and
WHEREAS, Air Force is agreeable to such use, under such conditions as will not interfere with the primary mission and use by Air Force of the property, NOW THEREFORE, Air Force hereby grants to Interior, a permit upon, and makes available to the said Interior, for the purpose and subject to the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth, all those lands and water described in Exhibit "A" attached hereto and made a part thereof.
Interior shall use said lands as a part of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, under the following conditions:
1. Interior shall have the right to enter upon and use the lands for refuge purposes, including the production of wildlife food crops, for the protection and management of wildlife and fish populations, including the harvest and control of such wildlife or fishes. Such entry must be approved in advance by the Officer in Charge of the Matagorda Air Force Range, or his designated representative, so that it may be properly coordinated with Air Force activities for the safety of personnel.
2. Interior is authorized, under limitations hereafter described, to construct, operate, and maintain sub-impoundments, water control structures, field office, storage and maintenance buildings and related facilities. It is understood that no residences are to be permitted on the area.
3. Interior shall not have the right to prohibit employees or permittees of Air Force from entering upon, or over, the said purposes to do any and all things necessary in the operation and use of, or for controlling the Range.
4. The use and occupation of said premises shall be without cost or expense to Air Force, under the general supervision and subject to the approval of the officer having immediate jurisdiction over the premises, and subject also to such rules and regulations as he may prescribe from time to time.
6. Air Force will take into consideration Interior's utilization of said refuge area, in order to insure compatibility of Air Force activities with wildlife management, wherever practicable.
7. Interior shall, at its own expense and without cost or expense to Air Force maintain and keep in good repair and condition any structures or premises used under this authorization.
8. This permit may be terminated in whole or in part hereof under the following circumstances:
a. By mutual agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of the Air Force.
b. At the option of the Air Force in this event Interior fails to use the said premises in accordance with the terms and conditions of this permit. In such event, Air Force shall give notice of the items of non-compliance addressed to the Refuge Manager, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Interior shall have 90 days to take corrective action.
9. Fixtures, equipment, facilities, or other property of the Interior constructed or maintained on the said premises shall be and remain property of Interior and may be removed at any time prior to the termination of this agreement. Any property of the Interior not removed from the premises within three months after any termination of this agreement shall become the property of the Air Force.
10. Nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding shall limit, restrict or interfere with the rights of Air Force to continue to be responsible for the management of wildlife activities on the Air Force property, subject only to the peculiar requirements for whooping crane preservation, as worked out with representatives of Interior.
11. All notices by Air Force to Interior concerning this permit will be addressed to the Refuge Manager, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, P.O. Box 68, Austwell, Texas 77950, and conversely, all notices by Interior to Air Force will be addressed to Commanding Officer, Matagorda Air Force Range, Port O'Connor, Texas 77982.
This permit shall become effective on the last date of execution as indicated below.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have hereunto subscribed their names as of the date indicated.
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
Date ___________ By _____________________________
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Date ___________ By ______________________________
Secretary of the Interior