Today, Safari Club International was represented at the White House as President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoor Act (GAOA) into law, making history and ensuring a bright future for wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation in our country. SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin received an invitation to attend the signing ceremony in recognition of SCI’s commitment to advancing this legislation and in appreciation of the thousands of SCI members who contacted their elected officials regarding this issue.
“It is an honor to represent the members of SCI and be a part of this historic day for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts across the country,” said Hamberlin. “The Great American Outdoors Act benefits all Americans and will continue to do so for generations to come. We thank President Trump and his administration for their commitment to expanding outdoor opportunities.”
The Great American Outdoors act came to fruition after President Trump openly called for legislation that fully finances the Land & Water Conservation Fund to be sent to his desk. The GAOA was subsequently introduced by Senators Cory Gardner (R – CO) and Steve Daines (R – MT) on March 16. It passed the Senate 73 – 25 on June 22. The House version of the bill, sponsored by Congressmen Mike Simpson and Joe Cunningham (D – SC), was introduced on June 4. It passed the House 310 – 107 on July 22.
SCI worked to advance this bill to the President’s desk since the day it was introduced. The GAOA was the centerpiece of SCI’s Virtual Advocacy Week with Senator Gardner & Senator Daines making live video appearances to provide updates. SCI advocates from all 50 states sent thousands and thousands of emails to their Senators and Congressmen between May and July, urging them to support and pass the GAOA. SCI joined approximately 45 other hunting and conservation groups through the American Wildlife Conservation Partners to voice support for the GAOA through a formal letter to both House and Senate leadership.
Though the passage of the GAOA is a cause for celebration, SCI will stay vigilant on Capitol Hill and continue to protect the freedom to hunt while looking to build on the momentum of the GAOA to further ensure a bright future for America’s wild places and wild things and the time-honored traditions of hunting and fishing.
(Photo Courtesy of Dorsey Pictures)