Tag Archives: House of Representatives

Safari Club International Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Dingell

John Dingell, Jr. of Michigan served in the U.S. House of Representatives from his first election in 1955 until 2015—an incredible six decades—making him the longest serving Member of Congress in U.S. history.

Throughout his life and Congressional service, Dingell was an avid sportsman and friend to America’s hunters.

SCI President Paul Babaz observed, “I learned of his passing last night and was reminded of the many accomplishments of this great man and the debt we, as hunters, owe him.  The sportsmen and women of America lost a titan in our community.”

Dingell served as a member and chairman of the powerful Energy & Commerce  committee, where he a championed hunting and defended the Second Amendment, serving on the NRA board of directors for several years.

Known as “The Chairman” by friends and foes alike, Dingell served in the House for 59 years and 22 days, casting 28,551 votes, according to the House historian.

Dingell was at the forefront of supporting legislation that impacted wildlife conservation.  The Dingell-Johnson Act, which provides financial assistance for state fish restoration and management is just one example of Dingell’s dedication to wildlife management.

In recognition of his tireless work on behalf of hunters, SCI awarded Chairman Dingell with both its prestigious Legislator of The Year Award and Heritage award.

“I want to extend the condolences of SCI’s members and my personal condolences to Chairman Dingell’s widow, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and to his family and friends,” said Paul Babaz.  “We have truly lost a great leader in the hunting world.”

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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.