MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
DATED AS OF DECEMBER 3,1990
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE
IZAAK WALTON LEAGUE OF AMERICA, INC
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES
Various studies have shown that more than half of the American
public enjoys observing, studying or photographing wildlife.
Appreciative uses of wildlife are important aspects of American
outdoor life, enjoyed by families and individuals of all ages and
abilities. The President's Commission on Americans Outdoors
recommended, in its 1986 Report and Recommendations to the
to President, that educators make the environment an integral
part of children's basic education. The Commission recommended
that Federal natural resource agencies engage in educational
activities to bring school children to the resource, where such
activities are not harmful to the watchable wildlife resource.
Moreover, President Bush's "America the Beautiful" initiative
charges Federal land management agencies to restore, protect and
enhance the natural resources and outdoor recreation
opportunities found on the lands and waters entrusted to their
care. This program is also supported by President Bush's
of a "thousand points of light," as well as a number of other
educational and environmental initiatives, such as "Take Pride in
America," "Volunteers and Partnerships," and "Excellence in
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to
provide a framework for cooperative activities necessary to
develop, implement, maintain, and enhance a Watchable Wildlife
Program on Federal and State lands, and to assist private
landowners. The MOU will also specify the respective roles and
responsibilities of the cooperating organizations and agencies.
Such a cooperative arrangement has many benefits, including
enhanced educational opportunities, increased public
participation, and increased availability of resources. This
agreement will enhance continuing efforts of public agencies and
private individuals to conserve our valuable wildlife heritage.
This MOU is made and entered into by and among DEFENDERS OF
WILDLIFE, The IZAAK WALTON LEAGUE OF AMERICA, INC., NATIONAL
AUDUBON SOCIETY, and NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, hereinafter
referred to as Defenders, IWLA, NAS, and NWF, respectively; and
the BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT
OF THE AIR FORCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY,
FOREST SERVICE, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, and U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE
SERVICE, hereinafter referred to as BLM, BR, DOAF, DOA, DON, FS,
NPS, and FWS, respectively; and the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES, hereinafter referred to as IAFWA,
under the provisions of the:
1. BLM: Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43
U.S.C. _5 1701-1782 (1988); and Act approved Oct. 24, 1984,
Pub. L. No. 98-340, 98 Stat. 2718;
2. BR: Water Resources Research Act of 1984, 42 U.S.C.
3. FWS: Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. _ 742f (1
Refuge Recreation Act, 16 U.S.C. g 460k-2 (1988), Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Act of 1980, 16 U.S.C. __ 2901 et seq
(1988); and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. _
4. NPS: National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, 16 U.S.C.
(1988), _ General Authorities Act of 1970, 84 Stat. 825
(codified as amended at __ 16 U.S.C. __ 1a-1, 1a-2, Ic
(1988)); Outdoor Recreation Act of 1963, 16 U.S.C. __ 4601 to
4601-3 (1988), and National Historic Preservation Act of
1980, 16 U.S.C. 9_ 470 to 470w-6 (1988);
5. FS: Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, 16 U.S.C. __
528-531 (1988); and Cooperative Funds Act of June 30, 1914,
16 U.S.C. _ 498 (1988);
6. DOA (Civil Works): Flood Control Act of 1944, 16 U.S.C.
(1988); and Federal Water Project Recreation Act of 1965, 16
U.S.C. 4601-12 to 4601-21 (1988), and
7. DOA (Installations, Logistics and Environment), DOAF and
DON: Sikes Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. __ 670a-670f
The participating parties to this agreement have responsibilities
or interests in enhancing opportunities for all members of the
public, including the physically impaired, to observe native
North American wildlife species in natural settings. The
agree that increased effort should be made to: identify and
publicize wildlife viewing opportunities on Federal lands;
cooperate in providing facilities; provide interpretation of
wildlife biology and management; and ensure access to such sites,
where such activities are not harmful to wildlife or other
resources. The parties further recognize and agree that a
cooperative approach should be followed whenever practical to
enhance watchable wildlife programs.
The participating State and Federal agencies have a variety of
responsibilities in managing their diverse lands. Among these
are the responsibilities to manage important habitats for a
myriad of wildlife species within the United States and to ensure
the abundance and diversity of wildlife and their habitats.
though these agencies have different mandates and policies, many
opportunities exist on lands managed by the participating
agencies to support the concept of the Watchable Wildlife
One of the many conservation objectives of Defenders, NAS, NWF,
and IWLA is to help perpetuate populations of wildlife on
suitable lands, both public and private, for the enjoyment of the
American people. These organizations, therefore, desire to
participate with cooperating State and Federal agencies by
assisting In the development and implementation of Watchable
Wildlife Programs on Federal and State lands.
The IAFWA represents the interests of State wildlife agencies,
each of which has responsibility for and interests in promoting
Watchable Wildlife opportunities within their respective States.
The Association desires to cooperate in this initiative to
further ensure a partnership approach with the States to
establish a Watchable Wildlife Program.
In summary, it is the mutual belief of the signatories that
implementation of the MOU will:
* Provide enhanced opportunities to enjoy wildlife on Federal
* Promote learning about wildlife and its habitat needs;
* Enhance active support of wildlife resource conservation by
the American public,
* Enhance Federal and State wildlife management programs; and
* Help protect wildlife habitat and help prevent depletion of
any fish and wildlife species.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above premises, the
parties agree as follows:
V. DEFENDERS, NAS, NWF, and IWLA:
1. Shall designate a national representative from each
organization to meet at least annually with representatives
of each participating agency and organization to discuss and
identify watchable wildlife objectives and activities to meet
the purposes of this agreement.
2. May enter into site-specific agreements or other
agreements individually or collectively with the
participating agencies to provide assistance or otherwise
accomplish the agreed-upon work that will be developed
pursuant to this agreement, including establishment and
maintenance of Watchable Wildlife facilities.
VI. The IAFWA:
1. Shall act as liaison for State wildlife agencies in
coordination with Federal agencies and conservation
organizations concerning Watchable Wildlife activities and
2. Shall designate a national-level representative to
coordination of Watchable Wildlife activities among various
State wildlife agencies and meet annually with Federal
agencies and conservation organizations to discuss Watchable
Wildlife accomplishments to meet the purposes of this
VII. THE BLM, BR, DOA, DOAF, DON, FS, NPS, and FWS:
1. Shall make available, where appropriate, Federal lands for
the furtherance of this program, subject to applicable
Federal laws, regulations, policies, and land use and
activity plans for the affected area, and subject to approval
by an authorized official of the agency administering the
2. Shall provide leadership for the planning, implementation,
and monitoring of work 6dertaken pursuant to this agreement
and supplemental to this agreement.
3. Shall designate a representative for each agency and meet
annually with representatives of participating agencies and
organizations to discuss and seek to reach agreement on
program proposals to meet the purposes of this agreement.
The responsibility for organizing the meeting will be rotated
on an annual basis among the cooperating parties.
4. Shall provide to the cooperating organizations an annual
summary of program accomplishments.
5. Shall assume operation and maintenance and other management
costs and responsibilities upon establishment of Watchable
Wildlife areas located on respective agency lands or may
enter into agreements with appropriate organizations for such
operation and maintenance.
6. May enter into site-specific agreements or other
agreements, individually or collectively, with other parties
to accomplish agreed-upon work that will be developed
pursuant to this agreement.
7. Shall coordinate planning for the Watchable Wildlife
with appropriate State agencies.
8. Shall monitor to the extent practicable the effects of
use of Watchable Wildlife sites. Public use will be
accordingly to avoid any unacceptable impacts to wildlife or
VIII. IT IS MUTUALLY AGREED AND UNDERSTOOD BY
AMONG THE SAID
1. This national-level agreement provides a policy framework
development of State and local-level agreements with
participating organizations and agencies to accomplish
specific Watchable Wildlife Program actions for the
observation of native North American Wildlife species.
2. Assistance to be provided by Defenders, NAS, NWF and/or
to any of the participating agencies will be set forth in
separate written agreements that specify the terms and
conditions of such assistance. These agreements will be
signed by the responsible agency official and the authorized
organizational representative of the cooperating
3. Assistance provided by the private organization(s) is
intended to supplement State and Federal funding or services
and this MOU does not, in any way, exclude Federal land
management agencies from any requirements or responsibilities
for management of Federal lands.
4. Unless otherwise stated, all improvements placed on Federal
agency lands as a result of this cooperative initiative shall
become the property of the United States and shall be subject
to the same regulations and administration of those lands as
all other Federal improvements of a similar nature.
5. The binoculars symbol (Wildlife viewing area sign RG-210)
will be used to enhance nationwide visual recognition of
designated Watchable Wildlife areas.
6. This agreement in no way restricts the cooperating agencies
and organizations from participating with other public and
private agencies, organizations, and individuals; or from
accepting contributions and gifts for the improvement,
development, administration, operation, and maintenance of
Watchable Wildlife areas; or from developing Watchable
Wildlife areas on their own appropriate lands; or from using
the binoculars symbol in wildlife viewing areas developed
outside the context of this MOU.
7. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed as obligating
the United States to expend, contract for, or otherwise
commit to the future payment of money.
8. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed as obligating
the participating nongovernmental parties to expend funds or
provide resources or be involved in any obligation for future
payment of money or providing or resources, except wherein
provided by separate agreement as per this MOU.
9. The Government's liability shall be governed by the
provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2671-80)
10. This agreement may be revised as necessary, by mutual
consent of all parties and by the issuance of a written
amendment signed and dated by all parties.
11. Any party may terminate participation under this agreement
by providing 60 days written notice. Unless
written notice of all parties, this agreement will
force for a period of 5 years but may be extended by
12. The parties shall not discriminate on the grounds of race,
color, creed, sex, or national origin in the selection
participants for any work or program undertaken
IX. EFFECTIVE DATE
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties herto have executed this
agreement as of the date first written above.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
(Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Environment)
Assistant Secretary of the Army
(Installation, Logistics, and Environment)
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
(Installations and Environment)
Defenders of Wildlife
International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
The Izaak Walton League of America, Inc.
National Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation