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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 26, 1993

President Clinton today announced the establishment of a National Biological Survey, which is to be created by reorganizing and upgrading current biological research programs within the Interior Department.

The major new Administration initiative, to be carried out by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, is designed to prevent another serious natural resource conflict of the sort currently plaguing the old growth forest communities of the Pacific Northwest.

The initiative is also part of the President's plan to improve organization and increase the productivity of government. The Survey will be the new home of research biologists currently scattered across eight of the Interior Department's Bureaus. By bringing them together in one critical mass, the Administration will be able to produce better quality, more objective science, which will lead to better natural resource decisions.

The Survey will be established through a Secretarial Order and funded through a deficit-neutral FY 1994 budget amendment sent to Congress today. The proposal would provide $179.4 million to fund the National Biological Survey, fully offset by reductions in other Department of the Interior programs.

In addition to consolidating biological research, the National Biological Survey will give biological science a higher profile at the Department and create an atmosphere where better and more objective biological research is expected and provided, ultimately resulting in improved information and better management decisions affecting natural resources on Federal lands.

The budget amendment also includes appropriations language to provide $2.5 million in matching grants to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for endangered species recovery activities. In addition, $1.0 million is requested for initial funding to implement the Partnerships for Wildlife Act, including State grants for non-game wildlife conservation. These proposed increases are fully offset.

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