Smithsonian Institution

Chief Justice William H. Rhenquist
Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC20543

Dear Justice Rhenquist:

The Society for Marine Mammalogy joins numerous conservation groups and wildlife organizations in expressing its concern for the proposed closing of the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center near Front Royal, Virginia.This center is internationally known for its work training conservation scientists and restoring endangered species, such as the black-footed ferret, the golden lion tamarin, and others.

While the Society for Marine Mammalogy recognizes the need for your organization to maintain its emphasis on public education and exhibitions, we feel that it is essential that the Smithsonian continue to lead conservation and restoration efforts for threatened species.Although these activities may be less visible to the public, the programs carried out by the Conservation and Research Center have made a considerable difference for many threatened species.We are hopeful that the Smithsonian will identify a means to maintain this world-class center for the benefit of all wildlife species and the quality of life for future generations of humans.

Thank you and best regards.


Daniel K. Odell, Ph.D.


Cc: Mr. Lawrence Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

Note: A similar letter was also sent to:

Ms. Anne d’Harnoncourt

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Bill First

Senator Thad Cochran

Congressman Sam Johnson

Congressman Ralph Regula

Congressman Robert T. Matsui

Vice President Richard Cheney

Mr. Wesley S. Williams, Jr.

Mr. Barber B. Conable, Jr.

Professor Hanna H. Gray

Mr. Alan G. Spoon

Mr. Howard H. Baker, Jr.

Dr. Homer A. Neal

Dr. Walter Massey

Dr. Manuel L. Ibanez