Tag Archives: SCI

David Bernhardt Selected as Secretary Of Interior

We look forward to seeing this outdoorsman work toward all things good for wildlife, habitat, outdoorsmen, and our country.

President Trump Taps David Bernhardt For Secretary Of InteriorTitle

SCI first for hunters logoPresident Donald Trump has selected acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt as a permanent replacement for former Secretary Ryan Zinke.

In a tweet Monday announcing his decision, the President said: “David has done a fantastic job from the day he arrived, and we look forward to having his nomination officially confirmed!”

“It’s a humbling privilege to be nominated to lead a Department whose mission I love, to accomplish the balanced, common sense vision of our President,” Bernhardt said in a statement.

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“Safari Club International adds its congratulations to David Bernhardt,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “I personally look forward to working closely with him as a member of the International Wildlife Conservation Council and wish David the best of luck as he enters this new phase in his career.”

Support for Bernhardt has poured in from key Congressional leaders and outside groups that have worked with Bernhardt during both his stint at Interior and throughout his career.

“It’s a brilliant move,” said Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the ranking GOP member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “No one is more experienced, and I look forward to working with him.”

Bernhardt is an avid outdoorsman with years of experience managing fish and wildlife resources.


Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

Bag Program Moves Forward in Africa

We had a chance to chat with Larry Bell about his family’s foundation and the Blue Bag Program while we were at SCI, Reno. The family’s story, of the loss of their daughter, is a tragic one, however, what they’ve created is an inspiration.

New Partnership with International Wildlife Fellowship Foundation Moves Bell Family Blue Bag Program Forward in Africa

SCI-foundation SCIFSCI Foundation is proud to announce a new partnership between our Foundation, the Ellen and Larry Bell Family, and the International Wildlife Fellowship Foundation (IWFF) aimed at helping those in need in Africa through an expansion of the successful Safari-Care Bell Family Blue Bag program. This new partnership provides Blue Bags and funding for IWFF to purchase and distribute items that will aid in the humanitarian relief and social responsibility efforts for needy individuals in Africa. The funds were provided by SCI Foundation from a special grant provided by the Bell Family.

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“Working with like-minded groups like IWFF greatly expands our ability to reach those in need around the world,” said SCI Foundation president Bob Benson. “By supporting local communities and helping to meet their humanitarian needs, we hope to further our conservation mission by helping to alleviate some of the pressures facing wildlife in some of the poorest areas of Africa. If wildlife is to survive, the people living in these areas must see a benefit. We’re hoping, with IWFF’s help, to provide that benefit.”

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IWFF’s efforts distributing their Bell Family Blue Bags have been impressive. Since December, Blue Bags containing items like food, clothing, toys and other supplies have been delivered to many places including a Macacasa Village where 120 very poor people live; a foster home where 7 children from terrible conditions now live in a safe and happy home; and to Grace House Shelter for the Homeless in Krugersdorp where 55 adults and 10 small children live.image

Through their program, numerous Blue Bag deliveries have also been made to local schools including the Booysens Beertjies Nursery School in Pretoria where 100 small children from a very poor community attend school as well as to the Mangalana Community Schools in Mozambique where many of these children only eat at school, as there is no food in their homes. IWFF supports schools like these through the delivery of Blue Bags containing food, clothing and supplies, so that the children can learn English and get a good education, so that they can find jobs and do not have to turn to poaching to make a living.

Also supported through deliveries of meat, groceries, cleaning materials and clothing via Blue Bags have been the Kungwini Centre where 200 physically and mentally challenged adults and 30 children live and the Elandspoort Child Welfare Centre, where 65 kids from a very poor community come to do their homework after school and to enjoy to what most of them is their only meal of the day. To many of these children, which come from the poorest of families, going to an orphanage where they would receive three meals a day and sleep in a warm bed sounds like going on holiday.image

IWFF’s Little Feet Project works to help meet the medical and other needs of children born with club feet like two little boys from a very poor area of Booysens taken away from their parents because of neglect and abuse, which now live in a foster house with five other children that IWFF also supports. IWFF organized for their feet to be fixed by a doctor and Blue Bags were delivered to help with food, clothing and medication for the two boys during their recovery.

“We are very grateful for the partnership between ourselves, SCI Foundation, the Bell Family and Amy Bell Charities,” said IWFF CEO Retha van der Merwe. “This partnership has made a huge difference towards the life changing projects that we aim to do, thereby showing that hunters do care.”

In addition to its humanitarian work, IWFF also directly supports several African-based conservation efforts including the VULPRO Vulture Sanctuary, a rescue center where Vultures poisoned or shocked by electric fencing or wires are rescued, healed and released into nature, and LET IT SWIM at the Josini Dam, an anti-poaching project that looks to stop southern/common reedbuck from being poached and tiger fish from being illegally netted greatly affecting angling-based tourism and the economics of the area, which is the largest and one of a very few places in South Africa where the iconic tiger fish species breed and occur naturally.

Together, we are working to make a real, tangible difference on the ground in Africa. Partnerships like this one greatly expand the reach of much-needed humanitarian programs like the Safari-Care Bell Family Blue Bag program, providing relief and alternatives to poaching and illegal hunting and trapping, supporting wildlife conservation efforts where it matters most. We thank the Bell Family for their generous support and IWFF for their ongoing commitment to helping those in need across Africa.

To learn more about this and other SCI Foundation Humanitarian Services projects, visit SafariClubFoundation.org. To learn more about IWFF, feel free to contact Retha van der Merwe at ceo@iwff.co.za.

CLICK HERE To support this and other SCI Foundation programs, make a donation today.

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Give Your Opinions on Big Game Structures | Colorado

Big game hunting meeting in Durango, Feb. 6 

CPW_SiteLogoDURANGO, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites hunters and anglers to give their ideas and opinions about wildlife issues and the new big game season structure at a meeting, 6-8:30 p.m., Feb. 6 in the Eulos Room at the Durango Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave.

In the first part of the meeting, local wildlife managers will give an overview of wildlife related issues. The remainder of the meeting will include a presentation and discussion of the big game season structure.  Every five years CPW evaluates all big-game hunting seasons and asks hunters for their opinions on if changes are needed. The new structure will be in effect for the 2020-2024 seasons.

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The meeting is also part of the ongoing statewide “Sportsmen’s Roundtable” process set up by CPW to assure that hunters, anglers and everyone who cares about wildlife can provide input and discuss issues with leaders of the agency.

Wildlife managers will explain the process of evaluating the big-game seasons and how the seasons are currently arranged. A brief survey will be conducted at the meeting, so participants are asked to bring their smart phones.

Hunters are also asked to complete an on-line survey that is being used to gather information: https://www.research.net/r/8MQNS3F. The deadline to make comments on the big game season structure is Feb. 11.

For more information, call Joe Lewandowski at 970-375-6708; or by e-mail at joe.lewandowski@state.co.us.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


No Poaching Anywhere on Earth | SCI

SCI Opposes Wildlife Poaching Anywhere On Earth

SCI first for hunters logoCriminal poaching of wildlife resources negates the conservation efforts of Safari Club International members and other hunters to assure sustainable populations of wild things in wild places for now and into the future.

The ugly truth of poaching came to light in Alaska where a father and son pled guilty to poaching a mother black bear and her cubs in their den.

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“We hunter-conservationists at Safari Club International abhor wildlife crime and poaching,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “We fully support the apprehension, prosecution and conviction of wildlife criminals and lend our support to state and federal wildlife management agencies whenever possible.”

Babaz stressed that anti-hunters often deliberately confuse the non-hunting public by lumping trophy hunter-conservationists with criminal poachers. For example, the headline on a New York Times article about this poaching incident stated: “Alaska Hunter Who Killed Cubs in Bear Den Gets 3 Months in Jail.”

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“Both poachers involved in the illegal killing of the bears are criminals, not hunters, as the headline states,” Babaz explained. “These sorts of criminals make legal ethical hunters look bad when the radical anti-hunting groups use their heinous acts to paint legal hunters with the same brush.”

The poaching crimes were recorded on a camera last year that was being used as part of a bear study.

Most of the mainstream media and social media have been relatively quiet in reporting this criminal poaching incident, yet they often light-up when legitimate hunters legally harvest game as part of science-based game management efforts that assure healthy populations of wildlife in wild places.

“As both hunters and conservationists, we at SCI want to educate the public about the good things we do, as well as the hideousness of criminal poaching, which in some places of the world literally threatens some species,” Babaz explained. “Science-based conservation that includes trophy hunting as part of comprehensive management has been responsible for bringing some species back and is the best way to make sure that there are sustainable levels of wildlife for future generations. Poachers are the problem. Hunters are the solution.”

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org


British Royalty Praises Trophy Hunting as Conservation

Botswana President Welcomes Duke Of Cambridge Recognition Of Hunting As Conservation 

British royalty is lending its voice to the choir singing the praises of trophy hunting as a conservation solution in Africa where anti-hunting eco-imperialists have dismissed the knowledge and ability of Africans to manage wildlife in their countries.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi met privately with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, last week during an international conference on illegal trafficking in wildlife.
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One topic of discussion during the private meeting was the problem of Botswana having too many elephants. Current research estimates that one third of the elephants on the continent of Africa reside in Botswana – more than 200,000.
Following the meeting, President Masisi said the Duke of Cambridge indicated that he accepted there could be a conservation case for hunting in Botswana because it could help conserve threatened species, according to a report in The Times.
The call to reestablish hunting in Botswana is being sounded across the continent of Africa. At a recent meeting of the International Wildlife Conservation Committee held in Northern Virginia, representatives of several African countries made the case for lifting the hunting bans imposed on their communities.
One speaker was Joseph Mbaiwa, Professor, Tourism Studies, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, who spoke about the consequences of Botswana’s ban on hunting instituted in 2014.
Mbaiwa authored a 2017 study entitled “Effects of the safari hunting tourism ban on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana.”
In the study, Mbaiwa states that the hunting ban was devastating to the local communities on several levels and that, “the hunting ban is reportedly contributing to increasing incidents of poaching in Northern Botswana.”
Mbaiwa explains the situation in more detail during an exclusive interview with SCI’s Marc Watts.
President Masisi addressed the same concerns regarding the overpopulation of elephants in Botswana.
“We do not want to come across as loving to kill animals,” he said. “We are loving to protect our people. We are loving our property. We are just being rational in the same way any Brit would if you had 100,000 elephants marauding over the UK. If you want to test it out we can give you only 500. I bet you’d be screaming,” he told The Times.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

Fantasies and Falsehoods – Media Attack On SCI

Media Attack On SCI Full Of Fantasies And Falsehoods


Safari Club International and hunters fight criminal poaching of wildlife resources. Anti-hunters do not.

Anti-hunters enable criminal poaching. By being aware of the problem and doing nothing about it, antis are responsible for the criminal slaughter of animals they falsely profess they want to save.

When it comes to saving wildlife in wild places, humans are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Anti-hunters are the problem. SCI and hunters are the solution.

Instead of putting their money where their mouth is and joining the fight against criminal wildlife poaching or pouring millions of dollars into meaningful conservation which actually helps save wildlife, anti-hunting elements within the eco-tourism industry attack SCI and hunting as they scurry to manufacture fake news surrounding a recent lion hunt in Africa.

Filled with fantasies and falsehoods, an article by Judy Malone published recently in the e-newspaper Daily Maverick lays bare efforts by the eco-colonialists within the eco-tourism industry to attack hunting, proclaiming it adversely affects the tourism that fills their coffers with cash.

Entitled “Driving nails into the coffin of Safari Club International,” the article attempts to justify its attack merely by terming hunting “morally wrong.”

hen, by focusing on reports of a recent lion hunt in Africa, the article leads to what obviously was the main reason for writing it in the first place – to further eco-tourism at the expense of hunting. It’s greed, pure and simple.

“The reality is that wildlife watching has the lion’s share of total tourism revenue in Africa and everywhere else,” the article stated. “So it is not only wildlife populations threatened by the killing of the biggest and best, but tourist numbers as well. Many are repelled and angered by the grisly details of hunts circulating in mainstream and social media.”

Yes, it is the perceived loss of revenue that drives this attack – an attack steeped in the parlance of traditional anti-hunting rhetoric. Bluntly, they don’t like hunting because they think it gets in the way of their making more money. Why are they not using their money to finance anti-poaching efforts and true conservation projects?

In the attack on SCI, the author assumes that the lion taken on a recent hunt is a particular male with a name – Skye. This assumption also has been echoed by mainline anti-hunting groups like Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United State and Humane Society International.  Reports from Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR) indicate that this is simply not true.

The very premise of CBD, HSUS, HIS and the Daily Maverick article is false.  According to the Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR), the lion allegedly taken was not known as “Skye,” was not “the leader of the well-known western lion pride,’ and was not “declared a “High Value Pride Male.”  This lion, as documented by the June 12, 2018 statement from the UPNR, was “well past his prime – as per the hunting protocol,” “was not a pride lion,” “had worn down and broken teeth, a protruding spine (all signs of advanced age).”

Information about the specifics of the hunt are still coming in, which is far from surprising, considering that the hunt occurred fewer than 30 days ago.  CBD, HSUS, HSI and TATH wish to capitalize on the typical difficulties of obtaining information quickly about hunts in Africa and would like to fill the information vacuum with unsubstantiated allegations, innuendos and a media frenzy similar to the one that erroneously accused a U.S. hunter of illegally taking a now well-known lion in Zimbabwe.  Those false accusations and the turmoil that followed, through the damage done to sustainable use-hunting, have already done great harm to African wildlife conservation.

SCI and SCI Foundation, working with our members and chapter network, as well as our partners in other like-minded groups, have invested tens of millions of dollars into anti-poaching and conservation efforts around the world. Our unwavering dedication to protecting wildlife and habitat also extends into many levels of support for local people, expanding their economic opportunities.

Tragically, while the anti-hunters spend their time and money attacking hunting, criminal poachers are devastating entire wildlife populations. SCI and SCI Foundation have put planes in the air, trucks on the road and boots on the ground to stem the tide of the all-out assault on natural resources by criminal poachers. Anti-hunters have done none of this. They talk their talk. We walk our walk.

Working with universities, researchers and local experts, SCI and SCI Foundation empower those most negatively affected by poaching by providing viable alternatives for them to feed their families and improve their communities. Hunting works far beyond the hunt itself.

Compare the humanitarian and conservation successes of hunters with the political and economic greed of the organization represented by the author of the article in the Daily Maverick. About the author, the article states: “Judy Malone writes on behalf of Tourists Against Trophy Hunting.”

In the article, TATH is described: “Tourists Against Trophy Hunting (TATH) is an international lobbying coalition. We are conservationists, journalists, photographers, activists, tourism operators, and tourists, and through member connections reach a global audience in the millions.”

So, what we have here is a political lobbying operation that includes tourism operators wanting to rack-up profits. They are not actively fighting criminal poachers. SCI and hunters are.

As for driving any nails into the coffin of SCI, we are reminded of a quote by author Mark Twain after rumors of his death circulated while he was still alive: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” he quipped.

So, too, are the fantasies of anti-hunting fake news items “exaggerated” that suggest SCI, as well as hunting, are dead. Dream on.


Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

Victory In Elephant Import Lawsuit

 

SCI, NRA Score Victory In Elephant Import Lawsuit

First-for-Wildlife-SCI-logo-header-9b60e0a5-7538-4c42-b4d7-a69e258e2029Chalk-up a win for Safari Club International and National Rifle Association of America in the continuing saga of the elephant trophy import question.

The road to complete victory continues, but SCI and the NRA have forced the government to do real fact-finding and not react to emotion from the antihunters.  Although the ban on imports remains in effect until the government finishes its rule-making, SCI, the NRA and other hunting organizations now have a chance to get the real story of hunting-based sustainable use conservation on the table.

SCI and NRA received excellent news Dec. 22 from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The court ruled in favor on a key claim in SCI’s and NRA’s 2014 elephant importation litigation.  In that case, SCI and NRA sued the previous administration for imposing on April 4, 2014 an abrupt ban on elephant importation from Zimbabwe.

In its 33-page opinion, the D.C. Circuit reversed an earlier unfavorable ruling issued by the lower court.  The appellate court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) should have conducted notice and comment rulemaking before abandoning almost two decades of a formal position that the import of legally hunted trophies enhanced the survival of the African elephants in Zimbabwe.

The FWS had adopted negative enhancement findings for elephants harvested in 2014 and 2015.  SCI and NRA sued, at least in part, because the FWS’s negative findings prevented U.S. hunters from importing Zimbabwe elephants harvested in those years.

Although the court determined that the previous administration had acted illegally, it will take some time before we know the effect the ruling will have on the ability of individuals to import elephants from Zimbabwe.

It is also uncertain how the FWS will respond to the court’s ruling and how long the entire process could take if and when the FWS engages in further rulemaking on the importation of elephants harvested in Zimbabwe in 2014 and 2015.  It is possible that the government will decide not to do anything, but that opens the door for hunting organizations to file petitions to try to force the government to propose a rule to lift the ban.  Questions also remain about how this ruling will affect the decision-making process for the importation of other species for which the FWS has made or will make enhancement findings.

While some things about the practical impact of the ruling remain in question – there is no question that the D.C. Circuit’s ruling is a victory for SCI, NRA and all those who recognize that hunting plays an essential role in conserving Africa’s wildlife.  The court’s opinion requires the FWS to include the public, including the hunting public, in the process of decision-making that affects the importation of legally-hunted wildlife.

Hunters and organizations like SCI and NRA will be able to provide information about the role that hunting plays in species management and conservation.  The FWS will not be able to impose uninformed, abrupt importation bans, like it did in 2014.

SCI and NRA will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters Tucson, Arizona · Washington, District of Columbia · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

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