NWF, hunting, tax breaks, and foot fetish
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2001:
The National Wildlife Federation is the largest of 51 Virginia-based nonprofit organizations to gain a permanent reduction in local taxes under special legislation passed by the Virginia senate on February 15 and by the general assembly on March 2. The exemption, previously approved by Fairfield County, applies to a $17.4 million new NWF headquarters opened in Reston on February 13. Built on seven acres of former woodlot, the new headquarters “is as environmentally friendly a building as you can develop within a reasonable budget,” says NWF president Mark Van Putten, but Washington Post staff writer Peter Whoriskey opined on March 21 that it “looks a lot like sprawl.” NWF, a national umbrella for 49 state hunting clubs, has an annual budget and assets each totaling just over $100 million. The assets include $88 million in cash and securities.
NWF in January stepped into a less lucrative but kinkier partnership with the California art studio Willitts Designs–a
promotion called “Just The Right Shoe,” offering 111 styles of miniature porcelain women’s shoes, all for the right foot only.
After pardoning convicted poacher Alfred Whitney Brown III, 46, to enable Brown to resume professionally teaching hunting skills, as ANIMAL PEOPLE reported in January/February 2001, former U.S. President Bill Clinton also pardoned Howard Winfield Riddle, who served 10 months in jail and was fined $30,000 after he was changed in 1988 with masterminding a conspiracy to smuggle the hides of endangered pangolin anteaters from Thailand to Texas. The pangolins’ hides were to be used in costly custom-made cowboy boots.