January 18, 2005

Dear Interested Stakeholders:

I want to share with you some organizational changes underway within the Office of Pesticide Programs regarding our endangered species program. Over the past few years, OPP has expanded efforts in several areas to promote increased public health and ecological protection in an efficient and cost-effective manner. With regard to the endangered species program, there have been many achievements. We have broken new ground to develop the Counterpart Regulations, satisfy demanding court-ordered deadlines, advance science and information system frontiers, and build the foundation for full integration of Endangered Species Act determinations into risk assessment and risk management actions. These are major milestones for the Agency and a tribute to the talent and commitment of all involved.

In addition to sustaining the important work of today, we need to look to the future so that we can maximize OPPs organization and operations. I believe that it is a timely juncture to build on our progress and align the office structure to meet upcoming scientific, policy and program implementation demands. Therefore, we are restructuring our organization so that most of the endangered species activities and staff will be transferred to OPPs Environmental Fate and Effects Division (EFED) from the Field and External Affairs Division (FEAD). This restructuring decision involves the creation of an additional Associate Division Director in EFED to help manage the expanded responsibilities. Arty Williams has agreed to a detail to the position of Acting Associate Division Director to take the lead in facilitating a successful transition and maintaining the forward momentum of the endangered species program. With Elizabeth Leovey, EFEDs other Associate Director, the breadth of programmatic and management expertise these two individuals possess will provide the leadership and support to Steve Bradbury and EFED in meeting the new challenges ahead.

This consolidation will not only enhance our ability to operate more efficiently in the long-term, but it will also allow us to continue to improve our meaningful engagement of stakeholders in all aspects of our endangered species work. We are committed to making this transition proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible so that we can maintain program momentum, continue to meet our endangered species regulatory commitments, and deal with upcoming scientific, policy and program implementation needs.

James J. Jones, Director
Office of Pesticide Programs