STATEMENT OF SENATOR MAX BAUCUS
NOMINATION HEARING FOR JAMIE R. CLARK
DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
JULY 16, 1997

Good morning and thank you Mr. Chairman. I, too, want to welcome President Clinton's nominee for director of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamie Clark, and her husband Jim, to our committee.

It is clear to me that Ms. Clark has the background and experience which makes her well qualified for this position. But I think the fact that she married a wildlife biologist AT a National Wildlife Refuge shows her total commitment to her work!

Ms. Clark has held a wide range of positions at the Service that I believe has given her solid knowledge of how the agency works. I hope it has also given her a few ideas about how it might be made to work even better.

Frankly, it is a tribute to her performance that President Clinton has recognized a career civil servant to lead the Service at this critical time.

As you know, the Fish and Wildlife Service faces some major challenges, not the least of which is helping this committee work through the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act.

I think we on this committee recognize that the ESA needs to do a better job of protecting species and being easier for landowners to deal with.

Mr. Chairman, I think Ms. Clark understands that. Since last year, she has demonstrated her expertise and sound judgment time and again as she helped you, Mr. Chairman, and Senators Kempthorne, Reid and myself deliberate over legislative reforms to the ESA.

Furthermore, as Assistant Director of Ecological Services, she has been instrumental in implementing various administrative reforms that have benefitted both landowners and species.

So I think she recognizes the twin demands that a reauthorization must satisfy and can help us achieve our goal.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the timeliness with which you scheduled this hearing. The President nominated her only one week ago. I hope this is a harbinger of a speedy vote in this committee and on the floor. I look forward to her testimony today and to working with her in the future.