Building For The Future

SCI President McLaurin

By John McLaurin, SCI President

It’s now time for our August Board of Directors meeting. This year, the event will be held remotely via Zoom.

At the board meeting, we will cover many important topics, not the least of which will be advocacy. Also, we will cover the purchase of our Washington, D.C., headquarters building through the generous support of fellow members Armand and Mary Brachman.

We have a ways to go to pay off the building to enable SCI to invest much-needed capital in our advocacy operations. SCI continues to expand its advocacy efforts around the world.

If you haven’t already, you will soon see a campaign to raise the needed capital for the building. SCI’s combined Michigan Chapters have already exceeded their initial $50,000 pledge.

I encourage you to participate both individually and organizationally. I am. Every penny of every donation will go to pay off the investment in our Washington, D.C., headquarters. It is the face of SCI’s advocacy operations and is within a short walk from the U.S. Capitol.

Our D.C. headquarters is the cornerstone of what SCI stands for. We are there for hunters and sustainable use wildlife conservation, both in the U.S. and in the world. The next time you are in D.C., as a member you are always welcome to stop in and see the face of SCI.

Here is an abbreviated list of the things that are accomplished by our D.C. headquarters staff:

Access & Opportunities: In court, we fought to protect bear baiting on national forests in the Western U.S. We supported an increase in hunting access in Maryland and Sunday hunting in Connecticut while opposing efforts to ban hunting competitions in Nevada. We continue engaging hunters across the U.S. to petition the Biden Administration to maintain nationwide access. In Alaska, we filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court defending non-resident permit allocations. We opposed restrictions on a Vermont wildlife refuge, testified against a ban on hunting preserves in Maine, and opposed lead ammo bans on wildlife management areas, national wildlife refuges, and state and private lands. SCI also signed onto letters supporting the Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act of 2023 and encouraging funding to implement the Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act. We also supported the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act and the oversight hearings and investigations into the Biden Administration’s attempts to limit access. In Australia, SCI is opposing waterfowl hunting closures.

Endangered Species Act: The Biden Administration plans to reinstate a previous blanket rule applying the requirements to import endangered species to threatened species, too. SCI’s legal team met with the feds on the impacts of this rule. We also supported the Listing Reform Act to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are doing a deep dive on ESA reform this summer — stay tuned for more!

These are just a couple of the many areas where SCI is making a difference. Plan to help celebrate these successes at the upcoming SCI Convention in Nashville Jan. 31 – Feb. 3.