Capitalizing on Success

Capitalizing on Success

By John McLaurin, SCI President

This article originally appeared in the 2023 July/August edition of Safari Magazine.

What a great time to become President of SCI and to lead our efforts on behalf of sustainable use wildlife conservation and the freedom to hunt! 

The first SCI Convention to be held in Nashville was a huge success earlier this year. Our May Capitol Hill visit with more than 60 members of the SCI Board of Directors was outstanding. 

SCI members visited many supportive members of Congress and helped those legislators understand the importance of hunting and hunters in meaningful conservation. 

At our May Board meeting, we elected a great slate of officers and Board members for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which starts the first of July. It will be my privilege to serve with these officers as we all work tirelessly to protect the freedom to hunt and promote wildlife conservation worldwide. 

We have many things to be proud of, including our newly acquired D.C. headquarters. Yes, this is the same building, but now SCI owns it (SCIF owned it previously). Ben Cassidy has big plans for it. By having a physical office literally on the edge of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., SCI has its finger on the pulse of politics at the national level. 

This presence among the decision makers, both elected and appointed, affords SCI tremendous access to those who determine what laws and regulations will be when it comes to everything of importance to hunters. 

Whenever SCI members are in D.C., I encourage you to stop by the SCI headquarters at 501 2nd St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 and see where we are and what SCI is doing in D.C. 

SCI is leading on Capitol Hill, in the courts and around the world. It is not just SCI organizationally that is leading in protecting the freedom to hunt and sustainable use wildlife conservation. Each and every member of SCI is a leader and an important messenger for SCI’s mission. That leadership is demonstrated every day, whether it is Chapter activities or individual activities in local communities, meetings, writing, calling or visiting local and national legislators regardless of what country we live in. 

SCI’s influence doesn’t stop at the Potomac River just outside Washington, D.C. It is global. SCI members live in about half of the countries of the world, so our influence stretches around the globe. We all need to be active if we are to protect hunting and wildlife for future generations. And in the courts, yes, our team of litigators is in the forefront of opposing anti-hunting lawsuits. 

Of note, SCI is becoming more active in Europe and South America. That trend will continue into the future, making these exciting times for both SCI and hunting. 

Members and Chapters are the backbone of SCI, assuring that legislators and other policymakers understand the importance of hunting when it comes to protecting and managing wildlife. There is much to be done and SCI is poised to make a positive difference in the world. 

But most of all, it is you, the individual members of SCI, who are the principal reason I am so proud to be your President. Together, we will take SCI to new heights. Thank you for all you do.