We generally think of the National Science Foundation as a reliable (albeit highly competitive) source of federal funding for all of basic research, including herpetology. But we can’t accept that as a given. NSF’s budget and aspect of its focus and direction are determined by Congress and there are always pressures and threats to cut the budget or to change NSF’s mandate to something that is more applied, more revenue driven, or more in line with interests other than quality science. SSAR has joined 48 other biological organizations in signing onto a letter about the future of NSF drafted by the American Institute of Biological Sciences and directed to the Senate Commerce Committee. In so doing we are making it clear that we believe that the priorities of the National Science Foundation should be set by the Foundation, not by Congress, and that science and the country are well-served by an NSF that support of pure science, in all areas of research, based on the peer-review system.