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Memorandum of Understanding Between The National Audubon Society 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 National Audubon Society, hereinafter referred to as the "NAS" and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, hereinafter referred to as the "Service." The Service is the principle 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); and with other authorities. The NAS is a widely recognized conservation organization whose mission is: To conserve and restore natural ecosystems focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this MOU is to provide a framework upon which the NAS, its State and local Chapters and Affiliates and the Service and its Regional Offices build partnerships. Such partnerships will benefit conservation of the Service's trust species and fish and wildlife habitats and ecosystems with emphasis on public awareness and participation.

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 92 million acres and other lands with a wide variety of fish, wildlife and recreational opportunities.

Whereas the NAS manages more than 100 wildlife sanctuaries comprising 150,000 acres set aside for the protection of birds and other wildlife.

Whereas the Service is implementing the 1996 Executive Order relating to management of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Whereas the NAS is a conservation organization with a membership of over 550,000 members, working on behalf of the environment in 518 communities across the Nation.

Whereas the NAS desires to promote the conservation of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and the natural communities upon which they depend.

Whereas the NAS was the first partner of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and supplied volunteer wardens for the first National Wildlife Refuges.

Whereas the NAS has historically promoted conservation of birds and their habitats.

Whereas the NAS has initiated several projects that would benefit the Service refuge Executive Order implementation.

Whereas both the NAS and the Service have certain common interests and responsibilities that include, but are not limited to: 1. Maintaining, conserving and restoring breeding and non-breeding populations of migratory birds; 2. Improving the productivity of wildlife habitat; 3. Monitoring the trends in wildlife populations, particularly related to neotropical migratory birds; 4. Improving public access to public lands for the purposes of environmental education, interpretation and wildlife observation, and 5. Promoting wise stewardship for Service lands.

Whereas both the Service and NAS are in support of the President's Executive Order - Management and General Public Use of the National Wildlife Refuge System which contains Guiding Principles related to Public Use, Habitat, Partnerships and Public Involvement for building greater public awareness of wildlife conservation objectives of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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

IV. Mutual Responsibilities: The NAS Shall:

A. Encourage local Chapters, Affiliates and Sanctuaries to meet and collaborate with representatives of local Service offices to discuss and identify opportunities for cooperative work on mutually beneficial projects and activities as suggested in the Addendum.

B. Identify for the Service, NAS constituents' needs and concerns regarding use of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

C. Work with the Service to establish and implement information and educational programs oriented toward the conservation and enjoyment of wildlife within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The Service Shall:

A. Encourage Refuge units and other Service officials to collaborate with the local NAS Chapters and Affiliates to identify opportunities for cooperative work on mutually beneficial projects and activities as suggested.

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 a designated representative.

C. Ensure that the NAS is aware of opportunities to participate in public involvement and process and events, especially those dealing with wildlife observation recreation opportunities.

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 to any present or future expenditure of funds.

  • 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 NAS 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 the NAS and the Service proposes 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 Draft Chapter 1 Planning and Management.

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

  • The NAS must obtain prior Government approval from the Service for any public information releases which refer to either the Department of the Interior, the Service, or this agreement. The specific text, layout, photographs, etc., of the proposed release must be submitted to the Service with a request for approval.

  • 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 [Note: date entered in original agreement] or 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 John G. Rogers 10/3/96 Signed John Flicker 10/3/96
Acting Director President
Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior
National Audubon Society