THE PEREGRINE FUND
”WORLD CENTER FOR BIRDS OF PREY”
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
December 9, 2005
From their website www.peregrinefund.org:
Established in 1970, The Peregrine Fund works nationally and internationally, to conserve birds of prey in nature. We conserve nature by achieving results--results restoring species in jeopardy, conserving habitat, educating students, training conservationists, providing factual information to the public, and by accomplishing good science. We succeed through cooperation and hard-work, using common sense, being hands-on and non-political, and by emphasizing solutions. We are also cost effective – 100% of all donations go directly to programs. The Peregrine Fund Board of Directors adopted a payout policy for earnings from our endowment which funds our administrative expenses.
~ ~ ~
Board of Directors of The Peregrine Fund
Ian Newton, D. Phil., D. Sc., FRS
Chairman of the Board and Director
Senior Ornithologist (Ret.)
Natural Environment Research Council
Lee M. Bass
Vice Chairman of the Board and Director
President, Lee M. Bass, Inc.
William A. Burnham, Ph.D.
President and Director
J. Peter Jenny
Karen J. Hixon
Treasurer and Director
D. James Nelson
Secretary and Director
Chairman of the Board, Emeritus
President, Nelson Construction Company
Tom J. Cade, Ph.D.
Founding Chairman and Director
Professor Emeritus of Ornithology, Cornell University
Roy E. Disney
Chairman of the Board, Emeritus, and Director
Chairman of the Board, Shamrock Holdings, Inc.
Paxson H. Offield
Chairman of the Board, Emeritus, and Director
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Santa Catalina Island Company
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, Emeritus
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Julie A. Wrigley
Chairman of the Board, Emeritus, and Director
Chairman and CEO, Wrigley Investments LLC
Al -Qaeida Falcon Smuggling,
Aided by the United Nations, and
the U.S. State Department.
The Union for Conservation of Raptors
You are about to see how the ‘subversion of science’ by a few biologists (falcon sellers) and Arab political leaders (falcon buyers) has influenced and corrupted the United Nations “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora” (CITES)
U.S. State Department policy is predicated on a pervasive fear of offending the omnipotent Rulers of Arab oil-producing Sheikhdoms.
State consequently has a history of aggressively providing operational and material support to Arab falcon smugglers.
Arab Rulers, and their surrogate representatives know this to be true.
By manipulating C.I.T.E.S. and intimidating the State Department, vast regions of Central Asia are now empty of falcons, eagles, and their prey.
The message is clear: Arab Rulers can do whatever they wish – but only when the State Department runs cover for them.
Al-Qaeida capitalizes on this fact that “the tail wags the dog”.
Dual-purpose courier jets used for smuggling falcons with impunity… also transport banned weapons & al-Qaeida personnel across seamless borders.
Arab hunting camps are month-long venues for clandestine meetings between legitimate Arab leaders, and the darkest side of the Arab world.
When there is linkage between environmental exploitation, venal, Gulf-based extraction interests, and al-Qaeida terrorists: the U.C.R. Program is the ultimate antidote and the best solution…
Jim Weaver, Peregrine Fund Board
Tom Cade, Chairman of the Peregrine Fund
Classic White Gyrfalcons
• Starting in the 1970’s, a small group of biologists were aware of the high value Arab leaders place on falcons. Even in those days, good falcons commonly sold for $25,000 apiece – today’s retail cost of black market falcons occasionally exceed U.S. $1,000,000 per bird.
• So the scientists coauthored laws in the U.S. and elsewhere, and set up complex administrative mechanisms so that, in practical terms – only an elite clique of those same scientists could possess and breed falcons…. allegedly for “endangered species recovery programs” and “research”.
“The Subversion of Science…”
“Ground Zero” for Falcon Traffic:
• During the Reagan administration, Dr. Tom Cade of the Peregrine Fund anticipated loss of Federal funding for his “research” Program – strictly limited in it’s mandate to breed and release farm-bred Peregrine falcons within the continental U.S., in order to replenish these rare, endangered falcons.
Peregrines were rare in the U.S., East of the Mississippi – but stable in most of the world.
• Cade wrote letters to the Interior Department, requesting permission to export and sell his falcons to Arab leaders. The Peregrine Fund’s marketing request to the Department of Interior was denied by UCR’s legal counsel, previously employed as the Department of Interior USFWS lead staff attorney.
• So Dr. Cade exported Peregrine Fund birds anyway – but this time papered out by the U.N. as research specimens.
• These falcons were in fact sold to the Bahrain Ruler Sheikh Issa al-Khalifa. The Peregrine Fund’s marketing agent and distributor was Dr. Charlie Schwartz, then residing in Manama, Bahrain.
• The Bahrain Ruler subsequently “donated” U.S. $200,000 to the Peregrine Fund. Arab payment for Peregrine Fund falcons was commemorated by a brass plaque. This falcon sale was classified as a “tax exempt donation” for “research purposes” – but the falcons were used for recreational falconry.
• Here began the era of covert commercial falcon sales by research biologists to Arab leaders.
“Research programs” provide a cover of immunity…..that today’s smugglers have learned to love.
H.R.H. Sheikh Isa al-Khalifa
The Subversion of Science: “Today’s Environmental Enron…”
• This system – the brainchild of biologists – is a means to transfer & sell endangered specimens to Arab falconers. It continues unabated, in exchange for tax exempt “donations”.
• The Peregrine Fund “gifted” falcons worth many millions to key political officials, Directors of falconry clubs, Arabs, and nefarious associates.
• By 1981 Jim Weaver, a Director of the Peregrine Fund, admitted transferring over 70 Gyrfalcons to key allies.
• This ‘influence peddling’ was equivalent to market -value of at least $25,000 per falcon, or $1,750,000 total.
• U.S. taxpayers paid $250,000+ in staff and overhead costs – simply to breed these birds for falconers.
• Scores of Peregrines were given away – not by lottery – but to targeted advocates for the Peregrine Fund agenda
• Finally the Peregrine Fund staff retired with endangered, priceless breeding stock…..and set up shop.
A market monopoly was established.
“An extraordinary law enforcement victory warranted by the subversion of science…”
• June 29, 1984 @ 7:15am MDST: a 9 year multinational Police operation, code-named OPERATION FALCON, netted over 300 arrests of falcon smugglers worldwide.
• Investigations, and the resulting interdictions occurred simultaneously in the U.S.A., Canada, England, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Greenland, Spain, Egypt, Mexico, and Zimbabwe.
• Department of Interior law enforcement personnel were universally commended.
• A Peregrine Fund Director was interdicted with a Gyrfalcon that had no Federal identification band – a violation of the “Migratory Bird Treaty Act” and a potential violation of Federal raptor licensing laws. Other Peregrine Fund staff were at the center of OPERATION FALCON.
• Peregrine Fund Directors are on record, “price-fixing” for Peregrine Fund staff selling falcons in the Middle East.
THE BRIEF Tab Enclosure:
• The Peregrine Fund and N.A.F.A. Directors – recipients of “gifted” Peregrine fund birds – relentlessly attacked the Interior Department and USFWS for conducting OPERATION FALCON.
• Peregrine Fund Directors defended falcon smugglers.
• Is the Peregrine Fund a falconer’s playground, a smuggler’s marketing den, a “research institution”..…or all three?...
January 14. 2008
Bush Brings Promise of Arms Sale
on First Visit to Saudi Arabia
Janine Zacharia and Holly Rosenkrantz
Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush brought to Saudi Arabia today a promise to provide “smart bomb” technology for his host, as the U.S. leader made his first visit to a crucial ally in the Middle East.
Saudi King Abdullah had his own gift for Bush, a heavy, gold necklace and medallion that is a sign of friendship and respect, a theme Bush is seeking to push during his two-day visit to the kingdom at a time when oil prices are hovering around $100 per barrel.
The administration announced today it was formally notifying Congress of its plans to sell Boeing Co.'s satellite-guided smart-bomb kits to the Saudis. The package is part of a broader sale to Persian Gulf allies of as much as $20 billion in arms to shore up support against Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The visit is an opportunity for the two leaders to ``renew their ties,'' National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Riyadh. Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been fraught since the U.S. led an invasion of Iraq in 2003 against Saudi advice.
On the Saudi agenda for meetings during the next two days is pressing the U.S. for stronger efforts to help create a Palestinian state, talks about U.S. plans in Iraq, and dealing with Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy.
Little has been said publicly about oil prices as Bush has made his way through four of the world's major producers: Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and now Saudi Arabia, which alone produces 25 percent of the world's oil.
``They talked about oil,'' Ed Gillespie, Bush's senior adviser, said when pressed on the issue. Bush and the Arab leaders discussed the ``vast demand'' in the world market. Bush said alternative energy was a part of his agenda and also mentioned the need for more nuclear energy.
That was as specific as a statement on oil given by any White House official during the trip. Hadley refused to predict whether oil would be discussed in Bush's one-on-one meeting with Abdullah tonight.
The state of the U.S. economy and financial markets also topped the Arab leaders' concerns. Bush reassured leaders of the United Arab Emirates that their investment is still welcome in the U.S. after U.S. lawmakers in 2006 forced DP World, based in Dubai, to drop a bid to run American ports.
They asked if ``investment by the UAE is welcome in the United States'' and the ``president reassured them that it very much was, that the United States is open for foreign investment,'' Hadley said.
Bush also reassured the UAE leadership that the ``underlying fundamentals'' of the U.S. economy remained sound, Hadley said.
Many officials also have asked questions about the U.S. presidential campaign. Gillespie said one official, who he didn't identify, asked him who he thought would win the Michigan primary tomorrow night.
During this trip, Bush has powered through an intensive schedule of cultural events. Last night he admired falcons and feasted on a Bedouin-styled dinner in the UAE desert. Today, he visited the historic home of Sheikh Saeed al Maktoum, the grandfather of the current ruler of Dubai in the UAE.
There Bush was greeted by young girls who sang and danced for him, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, accustomed on her own trips to a punishing schedule of diplomatic meetings, sipped a fresh strawberry juice alongside Bush's other top aides. Bush visited a Dubai cultural center and then met with young Arab leaders and entrepreneurs atop Dubai's boat-shaped luxury Burj al Arab hotel.
Tomorrow, Bush will again set aside high diplomacy and visit a national history museum and King Abdullah's ranch.
Asked to explain the timing and significance of Bush's sudden late-in-his-presidency cultural touring, Hadley said: ``It's a good part of getting him to see and be seen in the region.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Holly Rosenkrantz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at firstname.lastname@example.org ; Janine Zacharia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at email@example.com
July 10, 2007
United States Office of
MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
International Assistance Programs
Agency for International Development
Sustainable Development Assistance Program (72-1021)
Coordinator, Resources & Appropriations
Peregrine Fund - Neotropical Raptor Center 2
1 recipient will receive $300,000. This is a continuing earmark.
Year Enacted: 2005
Description: $500,000 for continued support of Peregrine Fund's Neotropical Raptor Center in Panama to conserve birds of prey in the Panama Canal watershed area and throughout the new-tropics
5668 West Flying Hawk Lane
Source: Appropriations Report Language - Senate Full Committee
|Location: pg 17||
|Method: User entered excerpt||
Although best known
for its efforts to recover
the Peregrine Falcon,
The Peregrine Fund
continues to build a
record of protecting
birds of prey
worldwide. A significant
undertaking in the
pursuit of preservation
is the establishment of
Fund'...Like last year
to support this goal.
The Peregrine Fund: Does Success With Raptors Mean Success With `Alala?
What is The Peregrine Fund?
According to its own publications, TPF was formed in 1970, when Tom Cade, a professor of ornithology at Cornell University, decided something needed to be done to save the peregrine falcon from extinction. Five years later, TPF was formally established in Pennsylvania as a non-profit corporation.
Today, the fund has its headquarters in Boise, Idaho. In its annual report for 1994, its president, William Burnham, claims that TPF has bred in captivity about 4,500 raptors of 25 different species, including falcons, and has released 4,000 peregrines falcons in 28 states. It is "cooperating in restoration of a viable population of over 300 kestrels from only two known pairs" and is "accomplishing" restoration of the aplomado falcon in its former range in the United States and Mexico.
Regarding its work in Hawai`i, Burnham notes that TPF accomplished the first releases of `alala young into the wild, "almost doubling the wild population." It also is "building a breeding facility and cooperative conservation programs for America's rarest songbirds."
The Peregrine Fund has a board of more than 30 directors that includes members of the Disney family, an executive with the Atlantic Richfield oil company, the chairman of Ore-Ida Foods, and the vice chairman and chief operating officer of Goldman, Sachs & Co., the investment firm in which Bishop Estate holds a large stake. In 1995, Bishop Estate trustee Oswald Stender joined the board.
According to a database maintained by American Business Information, Inc., The Peregrine Fund had 31 employees in 1994, and income that year totaled $1,069,000.
The Hawai`i Chapter
Robert Smith of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invited The Peregrine Fund to Hawai`i in 1993 to help collect and hatch eggs from nests of the wild `alala flock. "We did a search, and The Peregrine Fund was the only entity that surfaced," he told Environment Hawai`i.
With the assistance of the Fish and Wildlife Service, TPF oversaw the incubation of eggs and the release of five chicks to the wild in 1993 and seven in 1994 (including four produced by birds at Olinda). For its work in the 1993 fiscal year, TPF was paid $382,000 by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Since then, it has received $500,000 a year for its work in Hawai`i, under the contract with the FWS.
In 1994, The Peregrine Fund began working with the Fish and Wildlife Service on plans to carry out one of the recommendations made by the committee of the National Research Council formed to look into the scientific bases for preservation of the `alala. That recommendation advised setting up a second captive propagation center on an island other than Maui. That way, should catastrophe strike the captive flock at one center -- rampant disease, for example, or natural disaster -- it would not mean the end of the line for captive propagation of the species.
According to the environmental assessment prepared for the facility, Congress appropriated funds for this purpose to the Fish and Wildlife Service. "The Service has chosen to modify an existing Cooperative Agreement with the Peregrine Fund, Inc., in order to accomplish this directive," the EA states. "The Peregrine Fund, Inc., in collaboration and partnership with the Service, proposes to design, build and operate a captive propagation facility, in the Ka`u district on the Big Island of Hawai`i, for a minimum contractual period of 20 years." The site eventually chosen is near the village of Volcano on land that is part of the Keauhou Ranch, owned by Bishop Estate.
Funds allocated by Congress for the facility came to $1.5 million in 1995. In a report entitled "Keauhou Bird Conservation: A Program of The Peregrine Fund," The Peregrine Fund says that the initial appropriation will pay for construction of the first phase, which began last fall. Construction of the second phase (including the veterinary clinic) is expected to cost $1 million -- and again, the federal government is expected to pick up the tab. Phases 3 and 4, according to that same document, "will evolve as the biological needs of particular species and the level of effort required are better understood."
Despite the heavy involvement of federal money, The Peregrine Fund rarely makes mention of this angle in press releases that refer to the facility. A press release issued January 23, 1996, for example, states that "construction is underway on a $4.0 million facility on the Big Island for several of Hawai`i's most endangered birds. Land for the facility has been provided by Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate."
The license between Bishop Estate and TPF is for 35 years, with an option for a 15-year renewal. According to Alan Lieberman, TPF's director of operations in Hawai`i, the fund pays "a nominal fee" for use of the land. How nominal? "A little less than if we were grazing the land," Lieberman responded.
Funds for the rent are paid by the federal government. "About everything we do, a major portion is paid for by the federal government," Lieberman said.
What happens to the facility at the end of the license term? "Either we renegotiate the license, or the land has to be restored to its original condition -- or, at the request of Bishop Estate, the buildings will stay and revert to Bishop."
Smith, of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said that federal requirements concerning land tenure are satisfied if the term of the lease is at least as long as the expected amortized life of the facility. That requirement was met in this case, he said.
The Bottom Line
The Peregrine Fund is, by all accounts, very oriented to achieving results. In the "Keauhou Bird Conservation Center" report, there is this description of the fund's approach: "Keep it simple. Remain positive. Maintain excellence in all we do. Hire, train, and keep the best people. Work as a team because we mean it. Work cooperatively. Maintain focus. Make a difference. Make friends lifelong conservation partners. Achieve results."
Accentuating the "positive" has resulted in TPF staff taking some positions that have bewildered many experts in the conservation field in Hawai`i. For example, at a recent meeting of the `alala recovery team, owners of Kaimalino Ranch in South Kona -- an area that had been the Number 1 national priority for acquisition of the Fish and Wildlife Service because of its value as prime `alala habitat -- announced their intention to begin harvesting koa from the property. TPF staffer Peter Harrity stunned most of the scientists present when he spoke up in favor of the idea.
Lieberman could not verify reports of Harrity's remarks, but, in an interview with Environment Hawai`i, he said TPF had taken no position on the subject.
"We try to stay apolitical," he said.
June 9, 1998
birds back from
Peregrine Fund scientists hatched 10 alala last year,
but Hawaiian crows still number fewer than 35
By Gary T. Kubota, Star-Bulletin
A researcher uses a crow-shaped puppet to feed a Hawaiian alala chick every hour for 14 hours during its early growth at an endangered bird facility on the Big Island.
The chick, one of fewer than 35 Hawaiian crows in captivity and the wilderness, lives under controlled temperature and humidity.
"It's like having a sick baby. It can be very difficult," said Alan Lieberman, program director of the Peregrine Fund, operators of the facility.
The work can also be productive. Nearly six years after taking over the captive breeding program from the state, scientists at the Peregrine Fund are experiencing more success than ever in hatching endangered bird species in Hawaii....
Last year, 10 alala eggs were hatched, the highest number in a year and nearly one-third of the 32 produced at the facility since 1993.
Scientists have also had similar success with the puaiohi, a native forest thrush found only on Kauai.
The Peregrine Fund has hatched 32 alala chicks since
taking over the captive breeding fund from the state in 1993.
By Joseph Kuhn, Special to the Star-Bulletin
At least 10 puaiohi hatched at the facility are scheduled to be released on Kauai by year's end.
The Peregrine Fund, which receives most of its money from the federal and state governments, has expanded its program to include five other endangered birds: the nene, the akohekohe, the palila, the Hawaii creeper and the Maui parrotbill.
Robert P. Smith, Pacific island manager for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, is pleased with the results. "We believe we're on the cusp of a really successful effort. We hope it will deliver more results more quickly in the future."
But scientists also acknowledge success has been limited at best, and the attempt to save many of the 31 Hawaii birds on the endangered species list is too little too late.
Nine bird species are considered "possibly extinct," and four are being considered but not on the captive propagation list, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The remaining 10 are considered to have a stable population.
Scientists say more money is needed for research here to determine and develop strategies for encouraging the survival of endangered species.
Many of the recovery plans, assessing the endangered species populations in Hawaii, are outdated, done in the early 1980s.
Although Hawaii is home to more than 26 percent of the endangered and threatened species in the United States, it receives less than 6 percent of federal money [a.k.a. US Taxpayers’ money] allocated to preserve them -- $4.3 million of $77.6 million annually.
"The state of Hawaii does not receive its fair share of federal funds to protect the native species or habitat," said David Frankel, Sierra Club-Hawaii Chapter director.
Newly hatched chicks have to be fed hourly
by a puppet-wearing expert.
By C. Kuehler, Special to the Star-Bulletin
Lieberman said while federal funding has increased here in recent years, it's still not enough. "The funding should go where the problems are," he said.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't go where the problems are. It goes where there's political influence."
Lieberman said there needs to be better federal, state and private management of lands for the captive breeding program to secure lasting results.
"If you don't deal with the habitat problems that created the endangered status in the first place, then there's little chance of success."
Lieberman credits Cynnie Salley, general partner of the 15,000-acre McCandless Ranch, as instrumental in preserving the alala.
"Frankly, if it wasn't for her interest in the problem, there probably wouldn't have been any wild species," Lieberman said.
At the 3,000- to 6,000-foot level, the ranch has maintained a native forest that still contains many forest birds.
It is here that the Peregrine Fund has released the alala.
The numbers have remained stable at about 34, with 16 in the wild and 18 in captivity. But the captive flock has not done as well in the wilderness as in the laboratory.
Avian malaria and pox attack birds at this elevation. Several have been eaten by another endangered species, the Hawaiian hawk, or io.
Salley said many landowners don't want the alala released on their land because they don't want the responsibility that comes with it, including potential litigation.
"We need to work together and respect the right to make a living," she said. "If you want success, you've got to take out the threats of lawsuits. Unless they get incentives on the land, it's going to be shoot, shovel and shut up."
The Peregrine Fund Transfers State
Contract to San Diego Zoo
From Environment Hawaii
O n December 10, representatives of The Peregrine Fund appeared before the Board of Land and Natural Resources with a request to allow the transfer of its $300,000-a-year state contract to manage endangered birds to the Zoological Society of San Diego.
At the meeting, Peregrine Fund representatives said that they were not capable of taking the captive breeding program to "the next level" and asked that San Diego Zoo take over.
With six months left to go on the contract, and “with little choice," as one piqued Land Board member put it, the Land Board approved the transfer.
Four months earlier, the fund, which established its reputation with success in breeding raptors, had sought and received Land Board approval of a one-year renewal of its annual sole-source contract (running from July through June) to operate the state-built captive breeding facility for endangered birds at Olinda, Maui.
The Peregrine Fund has run Olinda since 1996 but this year wanted a change in the contract language. Under the change, The Peregrine Fund was allowed to designate a subcontractor for management of the Maui facility.
(Separately, the fund also has been managing a Fish and Wildlife Service facility for captive propagation at Volcano, Hawai'i. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been asked to approve transfer of that facility also to the Zoological Society of San Diego.)
At the time of the Land Board's August decision, there was no hint that a transfer was in the works. In fact, Mike Buck, administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, told the board at the August meeting: "No other organization operates endangered species propagation facilities for 'alala, nene, and Hawai'i, Maui and Kaua'i forest birds."
TPF's duties include providing daily care to the birds, managing long-term breeding pro-grains for the endangered ‘alala and nene, and developing techniques for propagation and restoration.
TPF's intent to pull out of the endangered bird rearing business in Hawai'i had been widely known long before the Boards August meeting - and, in fact, was disclosed in the March 1999 issue of Environment Hawaii. A possible “partnership" with the San Diego Zoo was mentioned at the August Land Board meeting, but Buck said he had seen no documents relating to any such transfer.
Lack of Candor
Buck presented the Land Board in December with a history that, so far as the DLNR was concerned, started on October 4. That day, William Burnharn, president of TPF, wrote Buck about the planned transfer.
"As a raptor organization, we do not have the depth and staff resources to elevate the project any higher than current levels.... The next level of achievement can be accomplished best by the transition of TPF's role to another organization. The best organization in the world for this role is the Zoological Society of San Diego. The Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of San Diego and TPF each met separately in August and approved transferring TPF's responsibilities" to the zoo, Burnham wrote.
But as documents later made public show, this was by no means Buck's first direct knowledge of the proposed transfer. Well before the board's August meeting, Buck was in the loop.
At the December meeting, Carroll Cox, of the watch-dog group EnviroWatch, distributed to the board a press release from his organization, quoting a June 30, 1999, letter to Buck from The Peregrine Fund. "We are moving ahead with an agreement formalizing a partnership between the Zoological Society of San Diego (ZSSD) and the TPF in which ZSSD would operate both facilities and TPF would become more of a 'figurehead'," the letter said.
In addition, in August, DOFAW's chief wildlife biologist, Paul Conry, and Jeff Cilek of TPF exchanged e-mail messages. One from Conry to Cilek states: "How are things going with the ZSSD and TPF approval of the partnership? You may want to give Mike Buck a call today to update him before the board meeting" to occur the next day.
An August 30 e-mail from Cilek states that TPF received a signed memorandum of understanding from the zoo on August 27, the same day as the Land Board met to approve language allowing transfer of the contract.
News of these exchanges disturbed board member Colbert Matsumoto. At the August meeting, he was the member who had pointedly asked Buck about the status of TPF's negotiations with the San Diego Zoo and was told that no documents had been received.
"I'm concerned about the timing and process," Matsumoto told Buck at the December meeting. Since the TPF contract was approved a few months earlier, Matsumoto was surprised at TPF's December request for a transfer.
"TPF already had discussions with the San Diego Zoo [to transfer its contract]. If that was the case, there was an apparent lack of candor," Matsurnoto continued. "Why are we abdicating our choice of vendor? From the board's standpoint, it's our responsibility [to determine the best vendor]. At this point, TPF is telling us the San Diego Zoo is capable. It's not coming from our stall, which [is supposed to have] surveyed the field.... Where was the Division [of Forestry and Wildlife] in this process?"
Buck defended TPF's selection, noting that four key people on the TPF's staff in Hawai'i came from the San Diego Zoo. "We need a continuity of staff," he said. When the Land Board transferred the job of rearing captive birds from the state to TPF in 1996, continuity of staff was apparently not as important. Several key workers of the state-run program were ousted without ceremony.
This fact did not escape Matsumoto's notice.
"I don't mean to imply that the TPF or the San Diego Zoo are not qualified," he said. "I'm more concerned about the process," noting that concerns regarding continuity did not factor at all into the decision to give TPF the contract in the first place.
For the Birds
Apart from the process, the board was questioned about the qualifications of the people running the program. "Are we getting the best science? " Cox asked the Land Board.
More than 190 endemic Hawaiian forest birds have been hatched at the Keahou and Maui facilities, including ‘alala, puaiohi, akohekohe, Maui parrotbill, palila, and akepa, according to the staff report to the board on December 10.
Does this mean that The Peregrine Fund or the San Diego Zoo is the best candidate for the job of reviving Hawai'i's endangered bird populations?
Cox has suggested that the Land Board might look elsewhere. “The Honolulu Zoo has successfully raised ‘alala, and six other zoos around the United States presently house Hawai'i forest birds and have had success in propagating them. Some of these zoos are the Houston, Brookfield, and Honolulu. There are at least 20 zoos that are currently raising nene.
"Is there anything wrong," Cox asked, "with sending out a request for proposals? Why is there a sole source to TPF?"
In response to Cox's testimony, Land Board Chair Timothy Johns said, "There might be better people. This transition covers a contract that has only six months left." ...
November 18, 1994
From: Alexander Volokh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: CEI LIST - FOOLS FOR FALCONS
To: Recipients of the CEI List
FOOLS FOR FALCONS
by Brian Seasholes, CEI environmental research associate
On the 5th of October the arctic peregrine falcon was removed from the list of endangered and threatened species. "Here is real evidence that the Endangered Species Act does what it was intended to do -- bring back species from the brink of extinction," claimed Mollie Beattie, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
She couldn't be more wrong about the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its role in "saving" the arctic peregrine falcon. Try as the FWS might, neither it nor the ESA can claim any credit for the event.
Most people blame the pesticide DDT for the falcon's decline. The falcon's decline was "almost entirely related to DDT," according to Jay Shepherd of the FWS. Yet DDT was banned in 1972, one year prior to the passage of the ESA. The banning of DDT cannot be attributed to the ESA, nor can the ban's beneficial impact on the arctic peregrine.
In fact, the falcon's recovery "really did not have to do with the Endangered Species Act," according to Bill Burnham, President of the Peregrine Fund, the primary conservation organization concerned with peregrine falcons. Almost no conservation and recovery effort by the FWS has been undertaken on behalf of the arctic peregrine, beyond conducting various monitoring studies and restricting the capture of falcons by falconers -- a relatively minor threat.
Other than the ban on DDT, "it was the remoteness" of its nesting habitat in northern Alaska as well as Canada and Greenland that was a significant factor in the arctic peregrine's rebound, according to Shepherd.
Some dispute that the falcon should ever have been placed on the endangered species list at all. Listing the arctic peregrine was "a fraud and a scam" and the "whole thing was political," asserts ornithologist Frank Beebe, the first person in North America to hatch peregrine falcons successfully. Mr. Beebe was vigorously opposed to the arctic peregrine's listing under the ESA. According to him, the FWS and falcon advocates sought to create a money tree which they could then shake in order to fund unnecessary research. And shake it they did.
Biologists eagerly applied for and received funding to observe the birds through binoculars and spotting scopes. Being associated with such a charismatic species was great publicity, but the public had to be convinced that without the ESA the arctic peregrine may well have become extinct.
In listing and delisting the arctic peregrine the FWS has capitalized on the popularity of the well-known American peregrine falcon which lives predominantly in the lower 48 states and sometimes nests on buildings. Many people do not realize that the arctic and American peregrine falcons are distinct subspecies and listed separately under the ESA. "It confuses the public too much to say American peregrine or arctic peregrine falcon," said Jay Shepherd. So the FWS has referred to these two sub-species as generic peregrine falcons in its ongoing effort to further their P.R. efforts for the ESA. Actions taken on behalf of either sub-species have been sold as peregrine protection efforts in general. This has been "a pretty good example of manipulation of public opinion," according to Frank Beebe.
Perhaps the FWS should stop manipulating public opinion and simply admit that the ESA had almost nothing to do with most of the 24 species that have been delisted.
Seven of these species were delisted because they became extinct, and of these three were probably extinct before they were listed.
Eight species were delisted because the "original data [was] in error," meaning they never should have been listed in the first place.
Another species' listing was invalidated by court order...
From The Nature Conservancy website:
Chairman of the Board of Directors,
The Nature Conservancy
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Henry M. Paulson, Jr. (Hank) is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Hank joined Goldman Sachs in 1974 in the Chicago Office, and became a partner in 1982.... In 1998 he was named Co-Senior Partner, and with the Firm's Public Offering in 1999, became Chairman and CEO.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Hank was a member of the White House Domestic Council, serving as Staff Assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973, and as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. Hank serves on the Boards of Catalyst, the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and is a member of the board of the Dean's Advisors of the Harvard Business School.
Hank's other personal interests and philanthropic activities have long centered around education and environmental conservation. He was the founding Chairman of the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University in Beijing, and continues to serve on the Board, which among other things, implemented an executive education program. He is a past Chairman of the Peregrine Fund, and remains on the Board.
Hank is a member of the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy and Co-Chairman of its Asia Pacific Council. In that role he is supporting the establishment of a large national park and conservation project in the Yunnan province of China, in cooperation with the Chinese government....
Hank graduated from Dartmouth in 1968, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and All Ivy, All East, and honorable mention All American for football. He received an MBA from Harvard in 1970....
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December 9, 2005: Originally posted on www.the-catbird-seat.net
March 13, 2007: Judge David Ezra signs Order to shut down website
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