Life only brings so many opportunities to do something really worthwhile and great. We have been fortunate enough to have had two. We were in the right place at the right time in 1983/84 in Washington, DC.
We created a 30-year wildlife testamentary trust for benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior. We put cash seed money into it. When we tried to give our gift to our country to the USFWS at Interior, we learned that they only had annual gift authority at that time and thus could not accept multi-year gifts of any kind. We were thus presented with the opportunity to do something very good for our country that surpassed our wildest dreams (all puns intended).
Alone, we went up to Congress to get our newborn brainchild of a Congressionally-chartered National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) established. We immediately met with the chairmen of the relevant oversight committees in both the House (Mo Udall) and Senate (John Chafee). They invited us to help draft the legislation and to be the lead witnesses at the House and Senate hearings, which we did.
We then took it upon ourselves to lobby the House (Ted) and Senate (Francoise) and placed 60 co-sponsors, including 22 chairmen and the leadership of both parties of the House and Senate, in a divided congress, on the legislation. The NFWF legislation passed UNANIMOUSLY in committee and on the floor of both chambers and was signed into law by President Reagan in March of 1984 barely a year after we made our gift to our country.
Thus we came to be founders of the NFWF as it absorbed our 30-year wildlife testamentary trust and seed money into itself. We accomplished something that had never been done in U. S. history, before or since, by two virtual nobodies like us. Over the past 32 years our NFWF brainchild has grown to be the largest wildlife foundation in America. We are very happy that we were able to be of such significant service to our country to conserve its wonderful natural beauty for as long as America continues to exist.
Here below are the actual documents relating to our founding of the NFWF. They are also available to view our Photo Gallery.
Here are all 4 pages of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Act autographed by all 60 cosponsors!
The legislative history and 60 cosponsors, including 22 chairmen, and the leadership of both parties!
Indeed, because ANWR is the key to responsibly developing all of Alaska's abundant North Slope oil and gas, both onshore and offshore, it adds up to much more than two trillion dollars, especially when the economic multiplier is applied.
A great deal of money for not only America's and Alaska's economic prosperity but also to help fund our national security, energy independence in all forms of energy, and especially to help fund the conservation of America's wildlife and wilderness - the essence of her majestic beauty!
Testimonials to our unique founding accomplishment:
How we came to personify our NFWF legislation and thus got it passed unanimously!