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Downsizing Government (Jim Hargrove)


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 1995.  Secretary of the Interior Bruce
Babbit called a press conference today to announce the implementation
of a new cooperative agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Secretary Babbit called the agreement an historic step towards
successful implementation of Reinventing Government, Stage II, that has
been developed by the Clinton Administration.

Under the terms of the new agreement, packs of wolves, imported from
Canada, will be introduced into several NASA centers.   In particular,
the NASA research and spaceflight centers at Goddard (Greenbelt, MD),
Marshal (Huntsville, AL), Johnson (Houston, TX), and Ames (Moffett
Field, CA) have been targeted. "Wolves are an endangered species that
need special protection to allow their populations to increase," said
Babbit. "Private landowners have objected to releasing wolves in
National Parks, fearing that they will wander onto private lands and
attack livestock.  This agreement represents an innovative compromise
that will allow the wolves to prosper in areas where the public will
have no objection to their presence."

The Administrator of NASA, Daniel Goldin was present at the Department
of Interior press conference.  When asked for his reaction to the plan,
Goldin said, "NASA is undergoing unprecedented downsizing in response
to the desire on the part of the Clinton Administration and the U.S.
Congress to reduce the size and cost of the Federal Government.  This
agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service will introduce
ecologically sound management practices that will replace the 'business
as usual' approach to personnel issues at NASA. Federal agency work
forces are no different than overpopulated herds of deer or elk in our
country today.  We, too, need to thin the herds," said Goldin.

Secretary Babbit interrupted Mr. Goldin to reassure NASA employees that
the vast majority of them would be unaffected by wolf pack predation.
"Keep in mind that wolves tend to prey mostly on the weak and slow,"
Babbit said. "Most NASA employees can move pretty fast and stay out of
harm's way. If you keep alert and show no fear, chances are the wolves
will leave you alone.  Our wildlife experts tell me that 95% of the
NASA employees will be unaffected by wolf predation in an average

An information brochure, entitled "Adapt or Die," will be distributed
to all NASA employees.  The brochure explains the ecological basis for
this new management policy.  It also points out that there are severe
penalties for harming endangered wolves, even in self-defense.  It
says, "Keep in mind that humans are not an endangered species and,
therefore, lack protection under the law."

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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