On February 1, the Board of Directors of Safari Club International changed its headquarters designation from Tucson, Arizona to Washington, DC. The purpose of the move is to focus and intensify SCI’s efforts on all forms of advocacy to protect the freedom to hunt, in coordination with other hunting organizations.
SCI’s CEO Rick Parsons will relocate to the SCI office on Capitol Hill in early April. SCI has advocacy, Litigation and communication units in that building. The SCI Foundation, which owns the building, houses its conservation department there. Parsons has a degree in International Law and has specialized in wildlife conservation issues. While working with the U.S. Government, he helped to draft and implement the global treaty (called CITES) that regulates trade in wildlife so as to prevent extinctions. Parsons has been with SCI since 1985. He has hunted in Virginia, Michigan, Texas and South Africa.
At the same Board meeting, the SCI Board applauded the new Advocacy Communications program of SCI that emphasizes an aggressive approach to outbound communication based on the theme of hunter pride. The goal of the program is to provide information about hunting to the vast majority of people who are neutral on the issue. The information will be designed to change the conversation by giving these neutrals something new to consider about hunting.
The decision to designate Washington, DC as SCI’s headquarters and to relocate the CEO was made in the midst of SCI’s 46th Annual Hunters’ Convention. The Convention is an extraordinary global gathering of the SCI family and hunting world. In all, 1,100 exhibitors from the U.S. and all over the world showed their hunting opportunities and hunting gear to more than 20,000 attendees.
There were seminars on hunting technique, ethics, legal issues and a host of other topics. There were side meetings with government delegations from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, China and Kazakhstan, to name some. There were evening events featuring fundraising auctions to support the work of SCI and its sister organization, the SCI Foundation.
Between them, SCI and the Foundation put more than $3.5 Million on the ground annually for wildlife conservation, anti-poaching, education and humanitarian efforts related to hunting. SCI also funds a wide variety of advocacy activities in the U.S. and globally. Next year’s Convention will be in Reno, Nevada on January 9-12, 2019.