Trudy_Harlow at TTC.NBS.GOV Trudy_Harlow at TTC.NBS.GOV
Fri Sep 22 10:06:18 CDT 1995

For Release: September 22, 1995
Contact: Trudy Harlow (202) 482-3048

Statement on House-Senate Conference Report
by NBS Director H. Ronald Pulliam

    Yesterday's action by the House-Senate Appropriations Conference Committee
is a Pyrrhic victory.
    The Conferees have proposed funding the Natural Resources Science Agency
(formerly the National Biological Service) at $137 milion, which is a 20
percent cut from the budget and a 15 percent reduction from FY 1995.  These
cuts seriously curtail the availability of sound natural resource science.  The
full ramifications of operating our programs at a $24.2 million deficit in FY
1996 have yet to be fully explored.
    This decision causes great frustration because as the demands for objective
and timely scientific information are increasing, we will be less able to meet
them.  At reduced funding levels, we will have to terminate some continuing
long-term studies and not begin new strategic research to serve the explicit
needs of natural resource managers across the country.
    Some of this research has provided data critical for the management and
continued well-being of freshwater fisheries, game and nongame bird
populations, and healthy forests and rangelands.
    Research currently being done by the National Biological Service will
continue under the oversight of the U.S. Geological Survey.  We will try to
maintain core programs such as studies of fish and wildlife health and disease,
the nationwide Breeding Bird Survey, and research on noxious and exotic
    As we implement the directives of Congress to merge with the USGS, I will
be working hard to see how we can continue to serve the biological information
needs of Interior's bureaus.


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