small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large (1000x1000 max)
extra large (2000x2000 max)
1 Oral History Cover Sheet Name: Harvey Nelson, Rollie Sparrowe, Dick Hopper (NAWMP Part 1 of 2, side 1 of tape) Date of Interview: January 10, 2006 Interviewer: John Cornely Approximate years worked for Fish and Wildlife Service: Harvey Nelson: 42 years Rollie Sparrowe: Dick Hopper: over 31 years (Division of Colorado Wildlife) Bob Streeter: Offices and Field Stations Worked, Positions Held: Harvey Nelson: Assistant Regional Refuge Supervisor in Region 3, Associate Director for Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington D.C., Regional Director of Service in Minneapolis, First Director of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Rollie Sparrowe: Research Administer for the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research, Chief of Division of Wildlife Research, Chief of Migratory Bird Management Dick Hopper: Migratory Game Bird Biologist with Colorado Division of Wildlife, involved with Pacific and Central Flyways, Central Flyway Council’s Representative on the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee. Bob Streeter: Office of Information Transfer, Deputy Director for North American Plan (under Harvey Nelson) and then became Director for the North American after Harvey’s retirement. Most Important Projects: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan Colleagues and Mentors: Harvey Nelson: Carl Madsen, Bob Streeter, Sharon Amundson, Dave Sharp, Jim Patterson (from Canada) Rollie Sparrowe: Tom Dwyer, Dick Paspahala, Bob Bloom, Don Minnich, Ray Arnet Dick Hopper: Jack Grebe Bob Streeter: Harvey Nelson, Dick Smith Brief Summary of Interview: Everyone talking about the North American Plan, their role in the plan and what needed to be done to get plan to the implementation stage. Harvey Nelson: Lives in Bloomington, Minnesota Rollie Sparrowe: Lives in Daniel, Wyoming Dick Hopper: Lived in Fort Collins, Colorado Bob Streeter: Fort Collins, Colorado 2 Interview with Harvey Nelson JC: In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, I’m uh, this is John Cornely and I’m here today with uh with Harvey Nelson and we’re going to chat a little bit about uh the North American Plan and Harvey would you, uh tell us where you’re living now. HN: Well, when I retired back in 1992 after some 42 years with the Fish and Wildlife Service, we stayed in Bloomington Minnesota where we presently live and for a number of reasons, my wife and I are both from Minnesota and we have other property there and some of our family there so, we’re making our retirement home in Minnesota. JC: Um, huh. Let me ask you what uh, what’s you’re first recollection, uh about hearing about this uh North American Waterfowl Management Plan? HN: Well my involvement goes back a long ways, um, it probably uh originates with the forming of the Flyway Councils and the Flyway Tech. Committees and the evolution of a great variety of other planning exercises that we went through back then. The development of the Flyway Management Plans and a lot of Species Plans and a uh variety of habitat related planning exercises that the Fish and Wildlife Service and the various states went through and this all evolved to a point in the mid ‘70’s uh so to speak, that there was concern developing over um how many plans do we have and how are they all related and of course the same activity was under way in Canada and when we had joint meeting with Canadian Wildlife Service people and the providential folks, um some of these same concerns started to develop. We have a whole array of plans and uh how do we relate them, bring them together uh and at some point, uh after we started the Program Review Committee with the Canadian Wildlife Service back in those days, in 3 the ‘70’s, uh one of the concerns was we need some kind of an umbrella plan that would bring these various efforts together and uh be a more cohesive approach and particularly as habitat uh for waterfowl and other migratory birds continued to decrease, there was increasing concern about what needs to be done over and above what’s presently under way. So that’s how we begin to talk about something other than individual country plans, you know we had a U.S. Waterfowl Management Plan and they had a similar draft plan in Canada, and uh particular as we started to look how those two could be brought together it became quite clear that we, what we really needed was this big umbrella plan. And it wasn’t until probably in ’82, ’83, ’84, during that period when people got real serious about doing this, that we began to talk about something that, that would be like a North American Waterfowl Management Plan and that’s sort of the genesis of it. JC: Well, tell us uh about you’re, once the plan was written and then uh signed I know you had you know a very leading and active role in the plan, tell us what you position was and what your early professional involvement with the plan was. HN: Well, it sort of goes back to the different positions I held within the Fish and Wildlife Service during those days, um, my early involvement was when I was uh, Assistant Regional Refuge Supervisor in Region 3 in the mid-west, when began to work the some of the earlier flyway concepts in those plans and I represented the Region on a lot of those activities way back then. I think I, even before that I went to one of the first meetings of the Mississippi Flyway Technical Committee I think in 1954 or something and that’s where my interest developed and uh continued from that point on. But uh, later on um you know, while I was at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, we had a lot of interchange and discussion about these concerns uh, Jim Patterson from the 4 Canadian Wildlife Service at that time was the director their migratory bird research center in Saskatoon Saskatchewan so he and I had a lot of interchange because of our mutual research programs but also a lot of discussion about these planning processes and where should they be headed. So one thing lead to another and um, then I spent several years in Washington D.C. as the Associate Director for Fish Wildlife Resources and head the Migratory Bird Program and National Wildlife Refuge System and a lot of other programs under our wing at that stage. And, in those years there was a lot of discussion about the habitat concerns but equally as much concern about the regulation setting process and the annual regulatory process and how this varied between countries and how we needed to be sure we were in sync on what was being done and that sort of lead to the establishment of what we call the Program Review Committee, which was established between Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service to began to look and address, look at and address these problems. So, as the Program Review Committee got under way, initially it was sort of established to deal with the, more of the regulatory problems and season setting problems and the waterfowl population aspects. As we moved into that series of discussions, it became abundantly clear that the real problem was the habitat issue and that somehow we needed to do a better job of coordinating the programs between the two countries, between the states and the providences and through the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and all other interested parties. And out of that sort of emerged the you know initial consideration for uh moving more directly on the, on the National Waterfowl Management Plans and then towards the end of that series of years and series of discussions it became, like I said early, abundantly that they needed some kind of an umbrella plan. And I can remember back in 5 ’83, ’84 uh we had a meeting with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa and I, believe I was up there with Lynn Greenwalt or who was the director at that point. Uh, and we talked about these things, uh how should the two Services uh begin to address these problems in a, in a systematic matter. And uh it was at one of those discussions at a dinner I believe in some restaurant in Ottawa that we said “What we need is a North American Waterfowl Management Plan” and that’s sort of how it, it generated uh and progressed and the name became attached. JC: So then after uh, after the plan was finally developed and signed off on, what was the, what was the uh organizational structure; you basically had the lead in the United States correct? And what was your title when you started out? HN: Well, I sort of got in on the you know on the early ground floor of it, as all the planning processes were under way uh directed towards developing a North American Waterfowl Management Plan. I was the Regional Director for the Service in Minneapolis, the twin city of Minnesota, for the central states at that point. And I spent a lot of time you know working on waterfowl, migratory bird habitat issues both that’s related to the upcoming North America as well as other ongoing programs. So I did a lot of this as Regional Director at that point and then when the uh when the plan was drafted and reviewed and uh signed by both Canada and U.S. in May of 1986, uh shortly there after, because I’d been involved in a lot of these related programs and activities and had a pretty fair background in it, um I was asked by the Director of the Service at that time to consider not retiring, which I was planning to do at that stage, but to stay another five years and be the first director of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. And undertake the implantation in the United States and to maintain the coordination with 6 Canada, which we did thru Jim Patterson, who was their currant director at that time; and also uh to look toward ways to encourage Mexico to become a signatory to this plan, which they hadn’t at that stage. So, I had some different positions but I became the first Director of for the U.S. of the North America Plan in ’86, ’87. JC: And who, who was the Director that asked you to do that at the time? HN: Um…I’m going to have to think back as to who, guess, some people changed in between there. JC: Yea, ok that’s fine. Um, tell us in those earlier days when you or the Director uh some of the significant events that you remember in the early years. I remember some of that you guys spent an awful lot of time uh traveling, I know, and uh doing different things; tell us uh, tell us about some of those times. HN: Well we started out the uh, the U.S. phase of the plan um in the Regional Office of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Minnesota, cuz I was right there and I just set up another office down the hall and uh hired initial staff to kind of start getting the job done. There was a lot of other background information that, you know, that sort of needs to be addressed perhaps to bring us to that point; but uh the initial features of the plan were sort of based on, and this is all clearly you know clearly stated in the plan, like there was eight principles in the plan that were to be followed as it was implemented. And then, it also was agreed early on to, you know, to build the foundation of the plan on the Joint Venture concept, which had been successful in industry and I remember some other meetings when we discussed that; uh the decision was if, if it works in industry why wouldn’t it work for this kind of an endeavor. We wanted to do something uh in terms of final organization and implementation of this plan that was different than these other 7 plans we’d all been working with because it was, it was such a big unit and so large in fact that many people were skeptical that it could be really organized and funded and implemented satisfactory. But we didn’t let that stop us we just, we just said it’s going to have to be done and we’ll find a way to do this and we’ll have to build partnerships uh you know build a coalition of organizations both countries that will support this. Um, it’s ironic that uh that was sort of the beginning of the, the partnership program and habitat program in the Fish and Wildlife Service and in Canada. And of course today, the word partnerships is used everywhere, didn’t necessarily emerge entirely from the North American Plan but it was a very basic concept. So, um we spend a lot of time, the first few years, uh first of all visiting all of the states, other organizations within the states and then establish the initial five joint ventures uh, Habitat Joint Ventures in the U.S. and Canada was doing the same on their side of the border and we had two species Joint Ventures early on. But, it, uh today that might look pretty simple but it was a difficult process cuz we needed to keep people with us so we didn’t lose somebody in the implementation process; so we did, we traveled a lot. Uh, you know I look back and uh the five years I spent uh as the Director of the Plan, you know I especially living in the Twin City area, I traveled over 500,000 miles on North West Airlines alone and my wife thought I’ve never been back but uh eventually I did. So it took a lot of travel, it took a lot dedicated effort to do that and the same was true for the staff people that we had. JC: Tell us, who were your, you know the early staff people that were helping you travel and all over the place to get people excited about this plan. HN: Well it’s like everything else and any program is only successful as the people its got to support it, and I was fortunate that we had good people to help do this. Uh, one of 8 the key people was, was uh Dave Sharp who’s now the Central Flyway representative and involved in this whole exercise we’re doing today. Um there was Carl Madsen who was an outstanding habitat specialist in the Fish and Wildlife Service in the mid west, now retired living in South Dakota. Uh, Bob Streeter then came on a little bit later as my Deputy uh for the office and uh we had some other folks come and go that were specialized in habitat issues or oh state federal aid support issues and that type of thing. Um, we had a couple of ladies that were key to our operation, uh Sharon Amundson, for example, had been my secretary when I was Regional Director and uh and she came with me to the North American office. And Elizabeth (?) worked with us for awhile, who’s still working in Denver or some location, and other people came and went but we had sort of a small, key staff that helped do that. We started the office there and then in 1989, when the North American Wetlands Conservation Act was passed, then it became obvious that we needed to move the office to Washington D.C., which we did the following year. Bob Streeter moved the office into Washington I stayed in the Twin City area until things got settled and then of course we had to re-staff the office when we got to Washington again, but again we found good people and uh a number of those people are still with the program. So, it took some doing to do this and then as the office got re-established in Washington, then I went in and spent the last two years there and then I retired in January of ’92 and then Bob Streeter took over the directorship. JC: Uh, just got a little bit of time left. I like you to, you’ve already talked a little bit about how different this was from previous planning operation, if uh what do you think you know one or a few things uh it’s now held up as an example, a model for other initiatives to follow, why do you think it’s been so successful? 9 HN: Well, I think it’s related to the, the way it was organized; how it was assembled and organized initially you know even when the plan was signed by the Secretary of Interior and Administer of Environment in Canada, one of the statements they made was that uh “This will be the most outstanding conservation program or plan ever implemented in North America” and that was pretty far sighted at that stage but uh it turned out that way because it’s still, it’s a going affair. Uh I think several things, first of all we had to build support base across the country and in the U.S. all 50 states and other providences; um same in Canada, the providences had to be on board. So I think it started with a premise, that here, here’s something that everybody should be involved with, there’s something here for everybody. You have to have priorities where you start and of course the first five joint ventures that were identified were actually based on a previous habitat program and recommendations that established 34 priority habitat areas in North America. And that was a good foundation for kicking this off, everybody had agreed in principle to that’s what we should do. So the plan contained these basic principles that everybody had agreed to early on. It also was based on the joint venture concept, to get the program out in the field among the stakeholders, whoever they may be, one state or multiple states or the same in the providences in Canada; and develop a Joint Venture organizational structure, a Joint Venture Management Board that brought these people to the table periodically and began to assemble and move their program and of course the big concern, early on, was where’s the money coming from. So initially the organizations had to sort of regroup uh and reprogram dollars from, within the organization, especially the Fish and Wildlife Service. At that stage there was also a strong effort, led by the International Association, Fish and Wildlife Agencies to develop a mechanism for 10 providing additional monies to Canada to get their program started there. And uh, that was sort of the so-called First Step Program and followed by the Second Step where substantial dollars were raised by the various states either by their own, their ongoing duck stamp sells or that type of thing or special funding mechanisms. So many states provided substantial dollars, early on, and some (unclear) probably talk about that later. And then, of course, the uh private organizations, Ducks Unlimited and uh such groups and NGO’s that were involved, played a very strong role in uh re-programming dollars to the Canadian program, particularly in the Prairie Pot Hole Region as they started. So we had a good foundation and I think that’s why it was successful. The principles were in place, the Joint Ventures, the Joint Ventures program or concept was implemented and then early on, another feature of the North American Plan, was establishing the North American Plan Committee between the two countries; this was the administrative body that’s addressed in the plan and it describes their role in terms of overseeing the procedures and programs that make all this happen. And of course the final, major action item was the approval of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and generated the first major funding at the federal level and which provided for money for to be used in both countries and eventually Mexico. JC: Ok, thanks Harvey uh we’ll continue more of these discussions in our panels uh later on, that’s really helpful to have you involved in this process and we appreciate it very much. HN: Well I enjoy being here and I, that’s a thumbnail sketch, there’s so much more. JC: Yes, I know. [Some causal talking between interviews] 11 Interview with Rollie Sparrowe JC: In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan I have the pleasure of being here with Rollie Sparrowe today and uh Rollie I know you uh, retired now, would you tell us where you’re living now and just uh briefly what you’re doing with your time these days. RS: Well I live in Daniel Wyoming um, small town in western Wyoming along the Green River. I’m spending a good bit of time seeking ballads and energy development and its impacts on wildlife. Uh I have an attachment for the country and its resources and I thought after all the time I spent in Washington I could contribute something. JC: Could you share with us, uh you know when you first heard about uh maybe the development of something called the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and maybe what your position was at that time. RS: Well I was a Research Administer in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s running the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units and then was Chief of the Division of Wildlife Research so a lot of the employees there were researchers who were in the migratory bird business and that was really my connection, I didn’t have a direct job connection to the Flyways Councils or regulatory process. Uh, in 1984 in the spring I was notified by the Service hierarchy that they like me to move into the job of Chief of Migratory Bird Management after John Rogers left was to be I think about September of ’84, so my first direct involvement with planned concept was at a…an important initial meeting that was held at Remington Farms where a lot of the people who ended up being involved in both writing and later developing the plan for both Canada and the U.S. meet to talk about the concept in real sensitive detail. 12 JC: Great. Um, in your role as the Chief of the Office of Migratory Bird Management during that period of time, do you have any other recollections you can share as how this process progressed in those days? RS: Well I was placed the on steering committee and was um one of the primary Fish and Wildlife Service Representatives in all of the writing and negotiation of the plan. I would hasten to say that while I was looked at as the quote “technical representative for the United States” I had the whole office of Migratory Bird Management behind me and uh, people like Tom Dwyer and um Dick Paspahala and Bob Bloom were the real folks who did the analysis we asked of them and enabled me to come back and provide the input for the U.S. so I was not the senior person on that writing team; Don Minnich who was then a Deputy Assistant Director for Refuges and Wildlife was the administrative lead but I worked with him and through the Migratory Bird Office provided the technical input during the writing. JC: And who was the, who was the Director during that period of time of the Fish and Wildlife Service? RS: Uh, as I recall it was Bob Jansen when this started. JC: Ok. RS: Because uh man and uh the Assistant Secretary was Ray Arnet who was very much involved in these things as well. JC: Ok and so uh your staff in the Office of Migratory Bird Management uh, provided analysis of a lot of our traditional surveys and that sort of thing that went in some of the maybe helped established some of the population goals or objectives of the early plan and so on. 13 RS: Yes, they did the analysis and brought things up to date, some so it in response to questions that came back from our writing team who would say “we need to know this and we need to know this” and we go back to the office staff and ask them to generate that from the databases and it would be cross checked with the Canadian Scientists who were involved as well and uh that was really the strong basis on which a lot of the planning and the expression of needs for waterfowl was done. JC: Ok and uh how was the, this committee, this steering committee set up; was it kind of mirror image in Canada and the U.S. or can you know (unclear) recall… RS: It was although there was some differences in who was the, Jim Patterson was the senior leader for the Canadian Wildlife Service and he was Chief of Migratory Bird Management and I uh, I had another administrative person Don Minnich who the Service had tracking this. Don had experience as a planner and his contribution to this was that he actually didn’t try to dabble much in the science in the migratory bird stuff he simply tried to keep people on track and state objectives and be clean in a planning approach. Um the, uh a lot of what we did in the first couple of meetings, after we had that meeting in the summer of ’84 and we resolved to write the plan, those of us who worked in the ‘80’s were essentially told this is your first priority; do this, and of course we were in the midst of the looming crisis of the lowest waterfowl populations in history and by 1985 had to take major regulatory action and so there were some diversions at the same time. But uh it took us a while; I think we achieved rapport with the provincial representatives and the state representatives uh back and forth, as well as Canadian Wildlife Service and we alternate meetings; we went to Canada and met then we came 14 back to the United States and met and that worked quite well. I think we all developed ownership in this task and uh…moved ahead. JC: Great. I uh…you know you mentioned those tough times from a regulatory uh standpoint and that’s you know part of the time that I really started getting involved as a Regional Migratory Bird coordinator and chief and uh from your perspective in Washington uh I would expect that you have a similar observation, some of which you’ve just describe but I found up to the time that the North American Plan really started being implemented a lot of the time we spent with our states, our waterfowl folks, was in the regulations process; a lot of that was pretty adversarial. But once some of these Joint Ventures started up, uh we’ve, we were mostly on the same side and found out that we were working towards the same things and I really think that has had a lot, beyond just the plan, to do with better relationships, working relationships with the states. Did you see things like that at a national level as well? RS: Well I certainly did and I think in the direct discussions with this team we recognized the flow of some of the things that Harvey Nelson just describe to you in his interview. Uh early planning efforts for a National Plan worked by the councils and other things, uh there was a deep concern by people involved in the regulatory process, through the Flyway Councils, that some sort international plan would be generated that would infringe upon the regulatory process and that was one of the most significant driving kind of balancing influences in our thinking because we realized ok what can we and what do we need to do for the future of waterfowl. And it wasn’t primarily regulations, it was habitat that was, that came out as one of the basic principles that was stated in the plan and I think as we went from there to a plan that was acceptable to people and to the initial 15 implementation that you’re talking about uh we had to reassure people thru the way we began to implement things that this was not an attempt to use up the regulatory purgatives; and that worked well and yet at the same time there were population considerations in the plan, triggers for certain kinds of action that were unaffordable because we were basically setting goals based on a uh arbitrary selection of the 1970’s is the good ole days when we had enough waterfowl but particularly ducks that everybody was happy with it and we set those goals and they became the foundation of everything that we did. JC: Back in those days, you know, in recent years especially we’ve used the North American goals uh as also linked to our harvest management program. In your involvement and discussions back in the planning days, in the early days, did you talk about using those population goals in harvest management sense, or was that… RS: Well we, we directly avoided that. JC: OK. RS: And thought it was inappropriate and frankly I thought it was inappropriate as Chief of Migratory birds because the figures we were using as our goals were not generated in any scientific way with habitat bases and so you were kind of putting apples and oranges together; we were stating these habitat goals in order to reach certain board population objectives, that’s not the same as having a direct link. And so I happen to be currently still involved in the Dept. of Harvest Management Advisory Committee working with the international and uh we’re having a mini-symposium at the North American Conference in March and it is primarily to address that; bring forward these concepts now and let the 16 technical people tell the people where we think we are and how much you can began to put those things together. JC: Very interesting and as you know I’m still involved in all those sorts of things and there’s only a few of us old grayed haired guys that remember you know some of those days and how those things developed. Let me follow up with one more question on that, some of the folks tend to look at those goals and say “you know those goals were for average conditions” but they you know the ‘70’s weren’t really average conditions; those were above average wetland conditions, wouldn’t you say? RS: Yes. JC: And like you, I think you said it very well um we were comfortable with the number of ducks in that period and so we thought well if we can maintain or get back to that. RS: Those were, we thought those were useful goals to strive for, which is what the plan was for. I think an undercurrent; you know we talked about a lot of things face to face between our Canadian colleagues and ourselves and I remember vividly conversations with Bob Anders, who wasn’t able to be here from Alberta for example, and Jim Patterson and we agreed about halfway through the writing realistically we had to do the kinds of things we’re relaying out in the Waterfowl Plan to keep what we had the time, even with reduced levels of ducks because the habitat base was shrinking as we were working. JC: Uh in the little bit of time we have left Rollie, would you uh…you know comment on uh you know I hear all the time that this plan and this efforts been very successful and would you agree with that and if so uh…give a couple of comments on why you think this was successful. 17 RS: Well I always viewed the plan, several of us acknowledged at the time, it really wasn’t a plan it was a set of goals and objectives that everybody could try to coordinate but independently strive toward. And that’s the way the Joint Ventures and the very diverse activities developed and I feel they were successful because they were; we had geographical explicit objectives for habitat that we wanted to uh change, we had population goals out there that were what we were striving to maintain by doing this habitat work. Uh it was a very collaborative process without a director, per say, and it went forward because the self interests of various groups were served by working together to achieve these. And that’s a pretty important model that in fact I’m using at this stage in my career and trying to bring people together on energy when you have all these (unclear) interests in this; how do you get ‘em to pull on the same rope. And it isn’t by saying “I’m in charge, I know what you need to do” and this uh; I think this has been very successfully. The obvious thing we haven’t talked about is the, and we will later, is the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the funding, the partnerships, the fact uh Ducks Unlimited with the kind of funding and willingness to work, there’s some pretty interesting stories about the fits and starts there that we should bring out in our later discussions. JC: Ok. Thank you very much Rollie, that’s been great and very helpful to our celebration effort. RS: Thank you. [Some casual talking in between interviews] 18 Interview with Dick Hopper JC: Alright, this is uh John Cornely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, we’re really happy to have Dick Hopper with us today. Uh Dick is retired from the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Dick tell us where you retired to, where are you living now a days? DH: Well John, I moved to Fort Collins in 1958 to go to school and I’ve been there ever since including over 31 years of uh active service with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, as you mentioned. And uh I’ve been retired 14 years and uh still maintain my home in Fort Collins. JC: No reason to leave town. DH: No reason. JC: Uh, do you remember when you first heard about some effort to develop a North American Waterfowl Management Plan and uh tell us about that if… DH: Sure uh well as a Migratory Game Bird Biologist with the Colorado Division of Wildlife I was actively involved in all the council, in fact for two Flyways, Pacific and Central both, and it seems like we forever uh we’re forever planning uh we had Flyway plans, we and species plans and I know the same thing was going on in other Flyways as well as in Canada and so on so. It’s not surprising then that uh the ideas came up that uh we certainly need to have a coordinated uh planning effort. And I suspect it must have been in the late ‘70’s when I first heard of this, maybe not as a North American Plan but as some kind of uh of a universal plan that we could all get behind. And then with the, let’s see, in 1982 I believe the National Waterfowl Management Plan was prepared and in 19 there they actually mention the uh North American Plan. And uh, one of the pushers and movers in the country was Jack Grebe, if you remember, who was Director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife and uh internationally known waterfowl biologist and uh he became actively involved in the early stages of the plan and so being one of his staff members I became aware of a lot of the things that were going on. JC: OK. Uh you know I’ve been told that Jack really had a major role in maybe drafting parts of the plan and uh could you expand a little bit on what you know about Jack’s involvement in and role in those early days of working on the plan. DH: Sure, as I understand uh because of his international recognition, the Fish and Wildlife Service contracted with him to set up a uh some type of a committee to look into this and he selected various individuals from both countries and from the Fish and Wildlife Service, Canadian Wildlife Service, and uh put together a uh…a start of a plan and uh after that it became a little bit fuzzy, to me as to exactly what the next stages were, but uh… the plan then took on more steps as it went along. Jack uh became ill later in his directorship and eventually passed away and uh never really got to see the fruits of the uh implementation of the plan, so uh there may be others that know a little more as to what exactly his involvement. JC: But he was he maintained his directorship of the Division of Wildlife while he was working with these committees and working on the plan? HN: Yes, um huh. JC: Ok. Um, what about you…Dick, tell us more about any involvement that you may have had in the plan through the uh, either through the division or through Flyway Councils once it was signed and started to be implemented. 20 DH: Yes uh, prior to the time that Jack passed away and he had presented to the Flyway Council uh an update of where he was in the overall process. At that time, I believe it would have been about 198.., 1986 somewhere in there, he recommended to the Central Flyway Council that I become the Central Flyway Council’s Representative on the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee. And so uh the council members agreed with that and uh so I was a member of that committee until 1994 when I retired for the eight year period and that was my uh most of my involvement with the plan. There were some other things involved there uh I was also coordinator of our state waterfowl stamp and that began in 1990 and we could see uh we were able to convince our people in the state, that uh mainly through banding programs that we were involved through the years, that our birds were coming out of Alberta and Saskatchewan and that part of the country and so it wasn’t difficult to uh convince them that we needed to send some of our duck stamp money across the border into Canada and we were successfully in doing that. JC: You mentioned that, and you uh you invited me to participate on your Colorado Duck Stamp Committee back in those days and that was really uh you know we had did some, and they’re still doing… DH: Yes. JC…a lot of good habitat work in Colorado. DH: Yes they are. JC: Uh, a little bit of time we have left, give us your thoughts on why you think that this effort has been different and successfully. 21 DH: Well I think that uh…because we’re working with an international resource, so to speak, a shared resource uh…the initiation of the Joint Ventures I think is probably the key to the overall effort. It not only involved state, federal, provincial, and U.S. states involvement but it also enticed private organizations down to the land owners and that type of thing. So, there were all types entities involved and once you can get a diverse group of people uh involved, and mainly a lot of them became involved because of the diversity of species associated with wetlands and uh the associated uplands. And so these species diversities then promoted a diversity of interest and once you can get that grass roots support through out uh through out a system, I think that then resulted in the planned partnership concept and the support that was needed to carry this through. JC: Great. Thanks a lot Dick we’re really glad that you could come and spend this day with us talking about the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. DH: Certainly. [Some casual talking between interviews] 22 Interview with Bob Streeter JC: Right, this is John Cornely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and I’m, it’s my pleasure today to be here with Bob Streeter, retired from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Uh, talking about the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. And uh Bob tell us where you’re living now that you retired and you know what activities you’re involved with these days. BS: I live in Fort Collins, Colorado nearby on a small plot of land that I’m restoring it back to native prairie and some wetlands, being a real biologist again. Um I’m active in some water issues state wide, volunteer with some projects on Colorado Trout Unlimited again, water related, wetland related and uh open lands protection issues in the county. JC: Good. When did you first hear about this process of developing a North American Waterfowl Management Plan? BS: I was in research in the Fish and Wildlife Service and there were uh with talking with other biologists you would hear things about that this North American Plan was being talked about and written in this ’84, ’85, ’86 period. I was with an organization called the Office of Information Transfer; we were suppose to get research information and help facilitate that getting implemented in the field with the biologist as a go between the research scientists and the field operations. And I remember seeing the North American Plan came in through, boxes of the plan came into our office to help distribute and uh that was my first knowledge of the North American Plan and what it was. And that was probably 1987 is when that came out. JC: Ok and you were one of the early staff for the plan office, when did that start and what position did you have with the plan? 23 BS: I’d uh was contacted by, probably various but I know but I (unclear), Harvey Nelson, who’s the Executive Director of the North American Office, got a call from Dick Smith, who’s the Assistant Director or Social Director for research in Washington, and I was honored with of those famous calls from the Director Frank Dunkle, who made an offer you couldn’t refuse. And he suggested that my talents and abilities and organization and putting together new offices and putting organization to that uh could be useful to helping Harvey and. I went to Minneapolis, I believe it was about roughly March of 1988, and got there about the time that everybody was talking about going fishing in Minnesota so that had to be March, April. And uh started with the suitcase packed and then traveling like Harvey did and that was my first association actually with the plan itself. JC: So you were involved in that you know constant travel days of getting the plan up, on people’s minds and getting their interests going so that we could implement it. BS: Yea it was a, in a way you could call it a cheerleading job, getting the information out, meeting with organizations from the Joint Ventures as they tried to get organized bringing some perspective from one Joint Venture to the other as to what was working well. Uh finding that perhaps that they wanted some standards or some policy of how we do certain things in the Joint Ventures and so in Harvey’s office we would put that together, then we go’d out to the Joint Ventures and they say “We don’t want any control in this” but they would take our advice and council; and so it was more cheerleading and uh facilitating organization and trying to communicate around what was going on. Another major part of it was the plan committee had, was very concerned about making sure that there was internal communication as well as external communications. And so 24 we began a document that was called or a publican we called it Waterfowl 2000 cuz the plan was to go to 2000. And uh in looking back at some of the old issues of that, the first ones were like four pages long and just a plain black and white copy and it evolved into something a little more graphic, but the real important evolution was the amount of information that started coming in from the Joint Ventures and sharing what was working in one Joint Venture with the other Joint Ventures and this program just started building and building as more partners came into it. But he communication end of it, I think, was very important uh aspect that our offices able to provide in the U.S. and then we worked with Canada and started a cross border communications package uh at the same time we were still working with external, meeting with the international uh the writers, I’ve forgotten the name of the organization, but the uh JC: The Outdoor Writers… BS: the Outdoor Writers Association. And Uh going to different conferences and uh publishing papers on what the North American was about so I guess summarizing it as a major cheerleading role and communications role with providing some level of organization without any control of the Joint Ventures. JC: And then uh you were Harvey Nelson’s Deputy in the office and then the office moved from Minneapolis back to Washington as Harvey has mentioned earlier and then you became his successor after Harvey retired, is that correct? BS: That’s correct, um the major evolution in the plan came about was the enactment of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which was passed in December of 1989. And um the powers that be decided that the office needed to be back in Washington, working out of there, particularly with this new responsibility of the North American 25 Wetlands Conservation Act. So we worked out where Harvey stayed in Minneapolis, kept the basic North American Plan Office going; I moved to Washington D.C. uh started the Wetlands Council Program, developing the grant process and facilitating the Wetlands Council acting as secretary and the coordinator for the council. The same time we started small office in Washington, starting building it up and then there was uh kind of a transition; people that were in the reg…initial office of the North American Plan decided they wanted to do other things rather than move to D.C., then we’d fill those positions in D.C. And it was kind of a transition over a couple year period of time; Harvey was there for some months before he ended up actually retiring and then moving back to Minneapolis permanently and I was named the Executive Director of the Plan Office and well as Coordinator to the Wetlands Council. JC: Ok. And that pass, passage of the Act to be a funding mechanism for uh wetlands and waterfowl and other water birds as it turns out, had to be a really significant milestone in the development of this whole process. BS: Uh it was I mean there were certainly many things that happened in the two years previous where states came up with blocks of money, the state of New York offered up $100,000 challenged other states to come up with it that was matched with some money that was able to brought from the federal government; Ducks Unlimited came, again these partnerships continued to grow, but the Wetlands Act provided, started providing real money. The initial Act allowed for up to $15 million, it took I think about three fiscal years before Congress actually came up to that level but 50% of that had to go to Canada and Mexico, the other 50% to be spent in the U.S.; that served as attracting other monies from the Nature Conservancy, other state organizations, many different partnerships that 26 were stimulated by that Act, which was the intent of Congress to do so and I believe that authorization now it’s up to around $40 million a year, it has continue to grow. Another important part of the Act itself is that it gave legislative recognition to the North American Plan; there had never been anything other Department of Interior recognition before that time. This gave legislative recognition that the North American Plan existed, this Act was to provide money for the plan and other wetlands efforts. Along with that, then another important aspect of the Act was that it talked about waterfowl and other wetland related critters. So it was really pushing the Plan to stay with the waterfowl but this is important to other species also as you protect, conserve, manage, enhance wetlands. JC: And one of the, one of the things that I see in print over and over again and hear people talk about is that you know, for every federal dollar that’s gone in whether it comes from (unclear) or whether it comes from you know appropriated funds for administration, a Joint Ventures or whatever that it attr…those dollars are multiplied several time, sometimes many times uh….with all these partnerships. BS: Yes sir, the act was a big multiplier of resources. The original plan stated that there would be a 25% Canadian contribution, 75% U.S. contribution to Canada. Well Canada stepped up to the plate and found additional monies and the initial dollars that went in the first step process were matched one to one in Canada. Uh I think that philosophy continued on with the act. Canadian partners came up with dollars or in kind resources that matched the North American Dollars. State agencies, BLM, Forest Service other federal agencies came in with dollars, many, many different state level and private level organizations brought money to the table. And I don’t know what the numbers are at this 27 point but at one point it was like, for every federal dollar put into the program, under the North American Act, there were two other dollars brought to the same project. And so it was a, required was a 50/50 match, it was much more than that as it actually came through the program. JC: Well thanks, thanks Bob. I appreciate your time helping us celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the signing and we look forward your participation in the panels as we go through the rest of the day. BS: Thank you John. 28 Oral History Cover Sheet Name: Harvey Nelson, Rollie Sparrowe, Dick Hopper, George Finney (NAWMP Part 1 of 2, a little on side 1, but most on side 2 of tape) Date of Interview: January 10, 2006 Mediator: Dave Sharp Approximate years worked for Fish and Wildlife Service: Harvey Nelson: 42 years Rollie Sparrowe: Dick Hopper: over 31 years (Division of Colorado Wildlife) George Finney (From Canada) Offices and Field Stations Worked, Positions Held: Harvey Nelson: Assistant Regional Refuge Supervisor in Region 3, Associate Director for Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington D.C., Regional Director of Service in Minneapolis, First Director of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Rollie Sparrowe: Research Administer for the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research, Chief of Division of Wildlife Research, Chief of Migratory Bird Management Dick Hopper: Migratory Game Bird Biologist with Colorado Division of Wildlife, involved with Pacific and Central Flyways, Central Flyway Council’s Representative on the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Committee. George Finney: Most Important Projects: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan Colleagues and Mentors: Harvey Nelson: Carl Madsen, Bob Streeter, Sharon Amundson, Dave Sharp, Jim Patterson (from Canada), George Finney (from Canada) Rollie Sparrowe: Tom Dwyer, Dick Paspahala, Bob Bloom, Don Minnich, Ray Arnet Dick Hopper: Jack Grebe George Finney: Jim Patterson, Harvey Nelson Most Important Issues: North American Waterfowl Management Plan Brief Summary of Interview: Everyone talking about the North American Plan, their role in the plan and what needed to be done to get plan to the implementation stage. Harvey Nelson: Lives in Bloomington, Minnesota Rollie Sparrowe: Lives in Daniel, Wyoming Dick Hopper: Lived in Fort Collins, Colorado George Finney: ? 29 Key: DS Dave Sharp DH Dick Hopper RS Rollie Sparrowe GF George Finney HN Harvey Nelson DS: My name is Dave Sharp; I’m the Central Flyway Representative in Denver, Colorado and I work for the Division of Migratory Bird Management with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Today we’ve assembled a group of four individuals and these four individuals are going to help me discuss a period of time um starting in roughly the middle 1970’s leading up to 1984. And this 10 year period is important because we like to talk about some of the things that led up to the development of the concept of a North American Water Management Plan. Um in those days it wasn’t necessarily a destined or a target to have a North American Waterfowl Management Plan but there were clearly events and planning processes that were going on within the Waterfowl Management Community that helped us begin to visualize the concept of a North American. And so this morning to help me get through this period of time uh we have Rollie Sparrow with us. Uh Rollie came to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1984, Chief of the Office of Migratory Bird Management. Rollie was instrumental in some of the early planning processes that went on in 1984 and beyond uh but he also has pretty good information I think and knowledge about some of the processes that went on prior to 1984. Next to Rollie we have Harvey Nelson, Harvey Nelson a long term veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, worked in various capacities in management research and administration ultimately with the North American Office in the U.S. implementation side. Uh Harvey lived through a lot of those early times and I think Harvey Nelson will 30 be able to, to also help us during this process in discussing this decade. Next to Harvey is Dick Hopper, Dick is a long term veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife very experienced in flyway matters in the Central Flyway working across all four flyways and was one of the individuals working through the flyway process at the uh during this decade that we’re talking about. Um next to Dick is George Finney, from the Canadian Wildlife Service, uh George is going to help us give a Canadian perspective. As you know the North American Plan was Signed by both Canada and the U.S. in 1986 and George will give us perspectives in some of the thought processes that were going on in Canada to bring these two countries together, to the table in 1986 to sign the North American Plan. So we don’t have an actual uh what I would call a real track record that we want to go through here but what we want to do is look at the events, times, and people that helped bring us up to this 1984 period that we’re talking about where we began to visualize the concept of what a North American Waterfowl Management Plan was. And to get ready to do that I think I like to read just a short statement from the National Waterfowl Management Plan draft of 1975 uh so really at the beginning of this period that we’re talking about. And it says “The international dimension of waterfowl management is fully recognized through this document and it is national in scope. The ultimate aim is to develop a cooperative international management plan involving all nations and peoples sharing the North American Waterfowl resource.” So it was clear as early as 1975, even though it wasn’t called the North American Plan, there was a clear vision that that is where we wanted to go; that is were we needed to go in terms of management of our waterfowl resources. Leading up that period of time in 1975, there was also a lot of work that went on in the flyways in terms of grass roots uh work and 31 what I’m talking about here is the flyway management plans; 1952, four Flyway Councils came together and were designated as the way that we would begin uh start to management uh North American waterfowl and during that period of time each of the flyways developed management plans for their flyway. And with that in mind uh Dick, in terms of some of the things that were going on at the flyway, um what can you relate to us in terms of some of the planning processes that were going on within the flyways that led up to Flyway Management Plans, which were really the precursor plans to the National Plan. DH: Yes Dave, as you mentioned, there were numerous planning efforts going on within the flyways, the one I’m most familiar with, of course, the Central Flyway, although I was on involved in the Pacific Flyway too. Uh, these range all the way from overall management plans to species plans to concept plans and uh one of the strong basis for planning I think in the Central Flyway was their banding programs. We had some very intensive banding programs and all of these plans lead to the accumulation of data that was ultimately, some of which was used as background information for the North American Plan. And let it be known, of course, that all of these efforts, even though they were by an individual flyway or whatever, they involved cooperative efforts uh both from the Canadians from the Fish and Wildlife Service and among the states. And so I think they laid a lot of the ground work with some of the basic information that helped pushed this planning process along. DS: You know George, from a standpoint of planning efforts and we talked the flyway plans as you know the providences in the Canadian Wildlife Service also participates in the flyway process. I did read the most current version of one of the flyway management 32 plans, and I’m talking 1967, this was an Atlantic Flyway Management Plan; it was very clear there were Canadian participation in the Flyways but how about in Canada from a planning process of is a correlate to might what be going on in the flyways, outside of the flyway effort were there individual planning efforts in about this time that were going on in Canada from either a population or habitat or both just from that stand point of beginning planning? GF: Well I think that in Canada we were participates in the planning processes that were being taken in the flyway context. Uh and if fact during the ‘70’s there was quite a proliferation of plans, every duck species, every flyway not only every goose specie but every goose population had planning efforts that were as some stage of development. And in fact, from a Canadian perspective, trying to consolidated this and make some sense of it or even keep up with it was one of the motivations for us; uh enthusiastically endorsing the notion of coming up with a North American uh North American Plan. We frankly, being a much smaller agency, could not even keep up with the planning meetings that were going on so we had to find a better way of doing business. DS: Harvey, um as you well know, the whole thing started with habitat and the need for us to address habitat on a continental basis for waterfowl throughout their annual cycle, ultimately 34 areas would be identified in the 1986 document but leading up to the ’86 document I noticed that in the National Plan the same 34 areas of importance were identified in the ’82 document. What kind of thought process was going on from a habitat planning standpoint that led us up to the selection of the 34 important areas that ultimately that would be put in the North American Plan during this early phrase; what was going on in terms of habitat planning? 33 HN: Well as I recall Dave, initially the Flyway Management Plans and other related planning exercises began to identify key habitat areas or problem areas, things that needed to be done. And then on top of that there was a consorted Migratory Bird/Waterfowl habitat review program laid out that attempted to identify the highest priority needs in both Canada and the U.S. And through that process eventually, these 34 priority areas, emerged and they were the ones using the, in the draft and the National Management Plan, and then again were incorporated as the intial priority areas in the North American Waterfowl Plan. DS: So from a standpoint of planning, habitat clearly came first; that was the first linkage but to stimulate, bringing the population aspects along side, um the Division in those days the Office of Migratory Bird Management was formed in 1972. There was a strong reorganization within the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, in terms of trying to boaster our data bases from a population standpoint, and that came with a very strong partnership in the flyways; to try to sit down and think about management of populations of birds. And that led up to in 1981 uh a cooperative effort with the flyways and the federal governments to build a population management plans, primarily driven with populations of geese, swans, duck were a little tougher to deal with, data bases weren’t as strong for ducks; the initial emphasis was clearly on geese and swans. And as we ultimately these management plans became very important in ’86 because those were the goals that were ultimately driven into the ’86 document. Uh Dick and Rollie, I don’t know the best ones of you that might want to go with this planning document at the flyway level but what Dick do you recall in 1981, during that period of time, the development of these population management plans. What can you tell us about 34 that process of looking at goose and swan populations from the standpoint of setting population goals and looking at the population side of the equation? DH: Well as you mentioned Dave, the goose and swan efforts were more on the front burner because of the, in same cases, the exploding populations of Canada Geese and other species too. And uh, so I think each of the flyways recognized the need to get a handle on these things and obliviously it often, more often than not, involved more than one flyway and obliviously it involved the Canadians too and so some of that early effort uh resulted in this background information that you’re talking about. DS: Ok. GF: I think on the Canadian side there was uh one of the key things that happened during the early 1980’s when we were putting together our first plans. Our first plans went together starting in 1980 and we ended up going through not nearly as many versions as the U.S. but we went through several versions. But one of the things that was, one of the dynamics at play in Canada at the time was um on the one hand an emphasis on population plans, coming from the flyways which included key habitat areas. But there was another dim…, another perspective that was particularly coming from our prairies and that was that…in some ways we were missing the boat because what we needed to do was focus on broad landscape habitat protection approaches rather than on population approaches that we could just keep churning away population plan after population plan; but unless we change some of the fundamentals and tell how broad scale landscapes were changed that we would ultimately not have the effect that we needed. And I think that the same thing was going on in the states um from the meetings that we had. 35 DS: Rollie… RS: Dave one of the things we haven’t gotten to is the situation with the waterfowl resource that was developing in the mid ‘80’s. Uh we were, while all this planning was going on and we’d not yet come to the point of addressing a North American Waterfowl Management Plan, populations were declining and people were becoming alarmed about it and the regulatory cycle was still very important to people because those duck numbers by ’84 and ’85 got down to numbers no one had ever seen before in a management context. And you can’t underestimate how much that drove a feeling of urgency and a need to get on with a plan. A second thing we haven’t mentioned is that right at that time the Stabilized Regulations Research Program was started, cooperatively with Canada, and while its title implies regulations in the regulatory process, it produced habitat data that we hadn’t had before from Canada about the rate of loss and the nature of loss of prime prairie wetland habitats; we just didn’t have that kind of an information base. And as that was unfolding, even before the study was done, that really punctuated the problem and the urgency of going to work in habitat in the breeding grounds. DS: So the urgency that was coming was more from the duck standpoint, as we heard. And habitat was clearly driving the concerns that people had and so, even though the planning processes maybe were going slowly, all of a sudden there was a little more of an urgency developing in terms of trying to pull these planning efforts together. RS: And I think, George will back me up on this, in our it was either the Remington Farms meeting or the very first meeting of the Planned Committee, in a working mode, in which we addressed this issue of what do we do about all these plans that are here. There was a fear on the part of some people that this quote “new committee” would come in 36 and reinvent the wheel and write all the plans and change the objectives and everything else. We made a very calculated decision not to do that and we talked very openly, if their existing operational plans with goals and objectives we would adopt those as part of the whole matrix we were kind of putting together. DS: Can I follow up on one part of that because it’s intriguing. Was there a conscious effort to try to pull together one comprehensive umbrella document that would pull all these planning efforts together and I mean in terms of, was there a concept of a North American Plan; did people talk about that or was it more like we some day need an international plan? How was it thought about in those days? Does anybody recall? Harvey? HN: Yea let me take a shot at that. It sort of goes back to some of the discussions we had between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service that related to the regulatory process, annually regulations; waterfowl status, duck population status primarily. And that’s what sort of lead to the establishment of that Program Review Committee that we had between the two services. And while that group initially started to address primarily the regulatory process and the population process, it became obvious that the habitat issue was really critical. And that’s why the first drafts of the U.S. National Plan tended to address the regulatory process, the population issue and then got into the habitat features. And as Rollie just said, by the time the plans emerged to that point and it began to talk about the real need for an overall umbrella plan, as we called it early on, the decision was at some point, and it particularly is as we got further into the North American Planning process, was to deal with population objectives and habitat objectives but not get involved with the annual regulations setting process. 37 DS: I think that’s a very critical point Harvey, maybe, I like to ask Dick to interject here. From the Flyways standpoint, in getting the support from the flyways for this national plan, could you reflect back on that time and talk about what Harvey just did from a regulatory standpoint. How important was that to set the regulatory stuff a little bit aside in terms of not having that be the, the focus but rather to focus habitat to get the support from the flyways at about that ’82 period; could you recall what was the thought processes were in the flyways? DH: Uh yea. I think the flyways certainly recognized that habitat loss and degradation was the most important aspect here and you know this was happening in all three countries, not just Canada or the United States, and uh recognized uh recognizing that there was production areas that were a major concern in terms of habitat loss and destruction and uh…we felt although regulations needed to be you know mentioned, it certainly wasn’t at the top of the list and uh we needed to get a handle on the overall problem and not concentrate on the regulations because we felt that might do more to harm the success or the, even the initiation of the program. DS: Ok, George, bring up to speed right now in Canada. Uh, we’ve been talking about a U.S. National Plan, um I think the thought process was that we would also have a Canadian National Plan at some point. What was going on in terms of corollary efforts, in Canada, to bring planning to the National level there? GF: Well I think to touch on the question of regulations, perhaps from a slightly different perspective, but I don’t think it was uniquely Canadian perspective, I think that we were trying at that time to adjust regulations every year based on um…base on annual data that was collected and I think that there was an understanding that we were wasting a 38 lot of time and a lot of argument and a lot and a lot of energy trying to be over precise with respect to allocation of harvest. And part of the plan was uh planned discussions was to get the focus on something that mattered more, would make more of a difference. We did touch on stabilized regulations in Canadian discussions and that ultimately was featured in the plan itself. But we had a conscious view that we wanted to get away from the National Plan or the International Plan being a discussion of allocation and regulation setting and focus on other things, principally habitat loss but also toxic chemicals and other things that would be affecting the birds. In Canada, you know we were dealing with, as we got into the habitat area there’s one area that’s important to understand and that is…as a difference in Canada and the United States and that is the ground lands or public lands in Canada are larger under provincial jurisdictions. So as a national organization with a clear mandate with respect to migratory bird populations, as we moved into an emphasis on habitat that meant we had to bring in the provinces along much more explicitly. And um we’d got into you know some very serious discussions about how we were going to go about protecting waterfowl on the landscape in a plan that was habitat dominated. So we went through five, or six, or seven, or eight, my notes talk about 4 plan 4A and plan 4B and communications and discussions with various parties, but we were going through the business of what needs to be done, who’d pay for it, we got into the issues just as crop damage, we got into areas just as substance hunting, we got into issues such toxic shot; some of these things came forward in the North American Plan but all of them had to be discussed at the national level. Before we got to the discussions, ultimately at Remington Farm and decide what we were going to purpose to keep in and what we were going to purpose to keep out, but ultimately we’re we ended 39 up is with a plan um which was endorsed by senior levels in all of the provinces and by the federal government, which was called the Canadian Negotiating Position as we came to the table in Remington Farms, but it was ultimately just the list of things that out of all of those discussions turned out to be the most important elements from a Canadian perspective. DS: Ok Rollie we’re at the ’82 period right now, we have a National Plan in the U.S. and you just heard George talk about the planning process was at a very similar place in Canada. We’re studying the stage for moving on to where we want to go in 1984 with one of the first meetings of a concept of a North American but before we get there, um Mexico, in terms of uh we haven’t talked about them, where they were at in he process. Um where were we with working with Mexican officials to think about bringing Mexico in with Canada and the U.S. and then who did we get from the ’82 period then up to the ’84 period beyond the urgency of getting some habitat to fix some of the declining duck populations; that urgency was clearly there. But what was, during this period of time, what was important leading up to the ’84 meeting in Mexico? RS: Well that, the Mexican interest at first was addressed through the working relationship the U.S. and Canada and Mexico had together and had meetings several times a year to talk about international issues, some of it was endangered species there was some other practical issues and when this came up the Mexicans really as we went into ’84 and ’85 were just not ready to be a part of it at that point. DS: So it’s fair to say that the planning process had not progressed as far as what it had in Canada and the U.S. at that point? RS: No, it had not. 40 GF: I think it would be fair to say that if the Canadians felt challenged by the number of plans being driven out of the flyways, the Mexicans felt totally overwhelmed. RS: And they were not, and they don’t have same hunting public hunting traditions and industry associated with the, we do nor the bureaucracy and they simply weren’t as motivated initially because they saw us as trying dealing with the duck problem. And they didn’t say no they didn’t want to be a part of it, they simply weren’t ready at that point so we didn’t address it; it was easier to deal with the real substantiate issues that Canada and the U.S. needed to talk about. I think one thing I would throw out here is that you can’t ignore the dynamics going on in each agency within each country and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as a major player in this, while we were the repository of kind of a mutually agreed upon, focus on providing the population data and synthesizing the cooperative information that came working with Canada and the states to monitor populations. We had own things going on inside, this was an era of program management in the Fish and Wildlife Service and then management by objectives and just as an example Don Minnich, who served on the steering committee with this as a planner, had a very strong and pretty narrow focus and that was pretty predominate in our agency at that time. And that was to realize you don’t have the resources to deal everything, so you gotta carefully partition and focus on what you’re going to try and do we actually, on the bases of all these existing plans, just at the time I came into the Migratory Bird Office in ’84, …the Fish and Wildlife Service was deciding kind of from the top down that we’re going to pick the top seven species and we’re going to focus all our energies on those. And so we actually had a list and they were all ducks and we had a list of those species and those were going to be you know it was mallards and pintails 41 and blue wing teal and then scarce species like canvasbacks and whatever; and that was going to be the main thrust of the Migratory Bird Program. So our internal dynamics had a (unclear) receptive to the idea of plans and of focus at that time. HN: Let me go back to Mexico just at minute Dave. I recall in some of our earlier discussions when I was on the Washington scene at the time, they were sympathetic to what was being done and purposed they just didn’t feel they were ready to actively participate and um they weren’t exactly sure how all this might fit into other international agreements and plans, so they chose not to be or participate actively for a number of years. But they were involved and kept appraised and they knew what was going on, and eventually they became a signatory. DS: Ok, from that period I can kind of see some pieces of the puzzle starting to fall together. We had the habitat plans, we had the population plans, we had a declining duck populations in the prairies, we clearly had some habitat work to do, the flyways were clearly interested in trying to help with the habitat problems that were occurring, at the same time Rollie, there was some problems from a funding standpoint in trying to prioritize and focus; it was clear the number of dollars wouldn’t be necessary from the federal agencies to address these habitat problems, it was going to take some kind of a greater partnership in terms of resources that could be directed. What happened leading up to a meeting in Remington Farms, 1984, from the signing of National Plans until all of a sudden there was a concept of a North American that was clearly needed, it was important from a timing standpoint to address these habitat issues. But help us out in terms of this concept of a North American. I assume it occurred leading to this Remington meeting in 1984 but help us with the concept in terms of how it started you 42 know who was the person that said this is the way we gotta go there, which agency or was it really a collective force, a partner saying, this is the evolution this is where we have to go. Help us with the thought process in 1984. [Someone saying “(Unclear) George”] GF: Um, well actually that thought process went back prior to 1984, considerably. It went back to a program review committee in 1977, … that’s the CWS meeting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where there was an agreement that we would try to develop a North American Plan and that was confirmed then at a 1979 (unclear) meeting in Toronto. So as of 1979 we were on a pathway to develop a North American Plan, if we could, with an understanding that there was so much unplowed ground and so many unknowns that we might not be able to get there. So in 1984, which was seven years later, …it took, I know in Canada, it took seven years in negotiation in order to be able to get to discussions with the United States, which took seven months, so it clearly dealing with our Canadian partners, which was much more difficult than dealing with our U.S. partners once we were allowed to get there. DS: Ok, so… HN: I think also, just to add to that, it was obvious that you know we had the U.S. National Plan and we had the Canadian Draft and uh at some point the intent originally was to bring those together into an International Plan of some type and that was sort of laying the ground work for what eventually took place; it just took time. DS: From a planning process, in the Remington meeting that occurred and that we’ve talked about here, clearly it went from maybe a thought process as George talked about for the starting in the late ‘70’s, at least from the international standpoint, the Flyway 43 planning going back into the ‘60’s even into the ‘50’s; so is it fair to say that the North American was clearly an evolutionary process to where we got in ’84 where we began to visualize what we might need. Um it just didn’t happen overnight but it seemed to be, from my standpoint, a very, kind of a long process with a whole bunch of steps and even though they weren’t all laid out in maybe the clearest fashion, they were leading to something, they were leading to this North American effort, which was about to unfold in ’84. And if it was an evolution, and that’s how we got there, what were the key steps in terms of bringing the things together in that ’84 period for us to actually put on concept a North American that would the two countries and hopefully Mexico down the road together? What did it, what was the thing that actually brought us there, from your perspective? RS: You uh, I came into that a little later than people like George but um given at that Remington Farms meeting produced an active discussion of “how do we do this and what do we include and what don’t we include and can we best move ahead?” …Have to think that rather than a totally calculated evolution with the human factor in this, leading it all in calculated directions, the plight of ducks, the new information on the (unclear) of loss of habitat coming out of middle the, we were right in the middle of stabilize regulations process and finally getting to the table once and for all with everybody to talk about what’s next and what can we do that’s going to have a real continental impact; …is a good part of what jelled this whole thing. I can remember that one of the real key issues was commitment to this thing and the quest…after talking about all this stuff and everybody thinking “ok now we’re going to do one, what’s that going to take” and one of the things that came out very strongly out of that Remington meeting was that all the 44 entities involved, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the providences and the states, had to commit to getting this done as a real priority thing. And no body had millions of dollars to throw at it but we had to set aside other things because here we were, if you look at the technical standpoint, being the new guy involved in the Migratory Bird Office, here we are with all these demands with plummeting populations and the Stabilize Regulations Program going on…and all of a sudden we’re going to meet every month to six weeks and write a plan for the whole continent you know it took a lot of commitment, without that commitment it never would have happened. DS: So in 1984, from your perspective, that’s where we finally went from the point of visualizing something, to where sat down at table and said “We want to write a North American Plan” and you got the commitment from people to say “We are going to do that, without possibly a time horizon “ but that’s where we first had the commitment we were going to go that final step to create an international plan. HN: Well I think another dimension of that also is that the whole planning process had been larger done by the technical staff and the other support groups and uh even though we were convinced that this is what needed to be done, at some point we had to get the top level administers around the table, from both countries, and agree in principal that now is the time to do this; and I was involved in that because I was Associate Director of the Service in Washington at the time. DS: So we were making a transition from a technical phase to more of an administrative, ultimately probably political phase, of trying to put in place a plan in 1986 that… 45 HN: And then one of the other concerns was, if we move in that direction with an international plan, what form does it have to take? And one of the early concerns was, …some people wanted to do it as another treaty and uh the decision was ultimately made that…let’s not try to do this as another international treaty or amend any existing treaty, let’s see if the…the International Affairs Departments or the state department and Environment Canada and others; if they could agree in principal that this needed to be done and do this as an international agreement instead, it be much easier to get through the process and that’s what happened. GF: I think in Canada, the observation that we were moving planning from technical committees to senior administers or even governments, is pretty key. And I think that what we were doing, through the seven years of discussions in Canada, was trying to establish what needed to be on that agenda, um from our perspective, and to get a consolidated opinion at fairly senior levels that we then go and talk to the United States about…and um…when, thankfully, when we got to sit down to talk to Rollie and the other representatives from the states, they’d come to the conclusion, many of the same conclusions that we had, as we had to think bigger than ourselves, we had to think very boldly about getting into areas that frankly, at least in Canada, waterfowl agencies had not got before…if we were actually going to get the job done. DS: Ok, well this brings us to the end of the first panel discussion that we were going to have on this topic; it brings us to the period of 1984. It was clear that we had a concept of a North American Plan that was, that was through a long evolutionally process, probably not as orchestrated or drawn out as clearly as…a lot of planners would like, but it clearly had evolutionary roots that went back several decades into waterfowl 46 management and research within the flyways and clearly all of North America. So at this time, this would end our first panel discussion and the second panel will take it from this point; that’s what we have.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
|Title||North American Waterfowl Management Plan oral history transcript|
|Alternative Title||NAWMP Part 1|
|Description||North American Waterfowl Management Plan Oral history interviews with Harvey Nelson, Rollie Sparrowe, Dick Hopper, and George Finney. The first part of this transcript is individual interviews with Mr.s Nelson, Sparrowe, and Hopper, and are conducted by John Cornely. The second part is a panel discussion involving all 4 men, and is moderated by Dave Sharp. These interviews were done in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the NAWMP.|
|Publisher||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Contributors||Nelson, Harvey; Sparrowe, Rollie; Hopper, Dick; Finney, George; Cornely, John; Sharp, Dave|
|Date of Original||2006-01-10|
|Item ID||NAWMP (part 1 of 2)2|
NCTC Archives Museum
|File Size||167 KB|
|Images Source File Name||9443.pdf|