Tag Archives: conservation

SCIF Funds Conservation Projects

Safari Club International Foundation has contributed $537,590 in the past six months to fund worldwide wildlife conservation projects.

“The research programs selected by SCIF’s professional biologists inform wildlife managers and policy makers on critical wildlife management needs worldwide,” said SCIF President Joe Hosmer. “SCIF strives to ensure management decisions are based on the best available science.”

SCIF donated $350,000 to fund multiple predator/prey projects in the U.S. and Canada. Conservation projects include Predator/Prey studies observing rates of whitetail deer fawn survival in Michigan and Wisconsin, elk survival in Montana, and caribou survival in Newfoundland. The results of these projects will help properly manage both predators and prey in systems where both exist. Donations were also made to wildlife population research and enhancement programs including mule deer in the Eastern Mojave Desert, brown bears on Kodiak Island, black bears in Missouri, and moose in Alaska, among others.

The most recent project is a partnership with Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Kenai Moose Project. SCIF donated $20,000. In multiple African nations, SCIF has given more than $123,000 to wildlife conservation and human-wildlife conflict programs.

Most recently, SCIF donated $30,000 for the upcoming African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which will be held in Botswana. SCIF also continues to fund lion research in Zambia to improve the accuracy of aging lions in their natural environment.

Being able to accurately age lions in the field will assist range states develop appropriate lion harvest regulations to ensure sustainability.

“Throughout the year, SCIF contributes over $1 million to wildlife research, management and anti-poaching programs. As an international organization, SCIF continues to increase our financial impact for sustainable-use conservation and we hope more organizations can follow our lead,” said Hosmer.

Contributions to wildlife species made during the past 6 months include:

  • Lion (Southern Africa) $30,000
  • Elephant (Zimbabwe) $25,200
  • Leopard (Zimbabwe, Namibia) $18,000
  • Wildlife Genetics (Africa) $20,000
  • Brown Bear (Alaska) $50,000
  • Black Bear (Missouri) $25,000
  • Elk (Montana. & Ontario)$69,800
  • Whitetail deer (Mich. & Wisc$75,000
  • Mule Deer (Calif. & Colorado) $40,880
  • Moose (Alaska) $33,500
  • Caribou (Newfoundland) $8,550
  • Bighorn Sheep (Mont. & Wyo) $31,500
  • Dall Sheep (Alaska) $5,000
  • Predator ID Manual (Intl) $10,000
  • Conservation Matching Grants $8,000
  • African Wildlife Forum $30,000

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New Hampshire Antlerless-Only Permits On Sale

whitetail does in snowNew Hampshire’s Wildlife Management Unit M antlerless-only deer permit sales are now underway for 2012. Up to 4,000 hunters may purchase these special permits. They’re sold on a first-come, first-served basis at a price of $13 for a one-deer permit, and $26 for a two-deer permit.

You must have a current New Hampshire hunting or archery license to apply, and you can apply only once each year. The permits are available online or in person at the Fish and Game Department in Concord. Hunters can also print a mail-in application, or call 603-271-3422 to request a mail-in application. Incomplete, illegible and duplicate applications will not be considered.

The antlerless-only permits for Unit M have been issued since 1997 to help stabilize the size of the herd in southeastern New Hampshire.  It’s a good example of wildlife managers using hunting as a management tool to minimize deer-human conflicts and to keep deer densities at a healthy level.

Sustainable Management: Protecting America’s Backcountry

By John Whipple, SCI President

The American West is setting an unenviable wildfire record in 2012. In addition to the toll fire takes on human lives and property, fire also poses challenges for wildlife management and recreational access. But the fires ravaging Colorado and New Mexico are only one of many problems that impact the use and management of U.S. Forest Service lands. Weather variability, invasive species and predator/prey fluctuations are also factors affecting wildlife health, recreational use and recreational access in our National Forests, and forests require dynamic management to respond to those ever-changing problems and conditions. Despite that, the U.S. Forest Service is clinging to a one-size-fits-all management rule prohibiting local forest managers from adapting to changing needs. Safari Club International (SCI) is trying to change that.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been petitioned to consider the case of State of Wyoming vs. U.S. Department of Agriculture, in which Wyoming is challenging the legality of the U.S. Forest Service’s 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule (Roadless Rule).  The 2001 Roadless Rule is an inflexible, centralized, D.C.-based planning approach for 58.5 million acres of National Forest lands. The core problem is that permanent planning aspects of the Roadless Rule make it impossible for local forest unit planners to respond to changing local conditions, and deprives them of tools needed to prevent catastrophic forest fires, reduce the impact of weather conditions, solve predator/prey imbalances and improve access for all recreationalists.

On June 15, 2012, Safari Club International filed our own amicus brief to encourage the Supreme Court to review the 2001 Roadless Rule. SCI’s brief explains how the Roadless Rule contradicts the U.S. Forest Service’s adaptive management approach to forest planning, and violates statutory mandates to revise forest unit plans at least every 15 years. The brief also addresses the inequities that roadless restrictions pose for some members of the hunting community, and the benefits that roadways provide for many species. SCI’s goal is to impress upon the Court the significant impact that the Roadless Rule has on the resources that SCI members and all hunters seek to enjoy in our nation’s forests.

We know that anti-hunting/anti-recreation aggressors will use this court case to further bend the management of our nation’s national forests against hunting and recreation. Those 501(c)(3) “charitable” organizations fighting to protect the Roadless Rule are doing so to appease their own rigid ideology–not the American public. Their threats to our heritage are ever present, and that is why SCI is submitting our own brief to support Wyoming’s challenge.

The position we have taken in opposition to the one-size-fits-all Roadless Rule will not be a popular one in some quarters. We know there will be focused attacks on our organization, but we also know that through our support for active, healthy forest management, SCI is helping to improve wildlife populations for American sportsmen to enjoy for future generations.

Safari Club International Testifies Before House Committee

Al Maki testifying before House Committee.
Testifying before Congress are (l. to r.) Director Dan Ashe (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Dr. Al Maki (Safari Club International), Dr. Stuart Pimm (Duke University), Nick Wiley (Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).

On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) Chairman of Conservation and SCI Vice President, Dr. Al Maki, testified before the Space, Science, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. The hearing covered “The Science of How Hunting Assists Species Conservation and Management,” and sought to highlight the role sportsmen and women play in wildlife conservation, both domestically and internationally. Dr. Maki highlighted how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) works against hunters and their conservation efforts, and spoke on the issue from the standpoint of a professional biologist, avid hunter, and conservationist.

“Government regulations, whether they are a part of the Endangered Species Act or supported by anti-hunting bureaucrats, should not impede conservation funding,” said Dr. Maki. “Hunters have provided too many resources in the form of excise taxes, license sales, and volunteering with organizations like SCI just to be casually overlooked by policy makers.”

Hunters and anglers have voluntarily contributed more than $10 billion dollars to conservation efforts through excise taxes alone since the 1937 inception of the Pittman-Robertson Act. They have been, and remain, the largest advocates of wildlife conservation, however, their efforts have been largely impeded due to the framework of the ESA. The Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental groups have used the ESA to prevent the use of hunting as a conservation measure. Dr. Maki presented several examples of the ESA’s inefficiency, including how the Act harms species enhancement within the United States and beyond.

“We greatly appreciate Congressman Broun and the entire subcommittee’s dedication to address government actions that continually undermine hunter engagement in the conservation of our nation’s wildlife,” concluded Maki.