By Dr. Miguel Estade, Europe Committee Chair
The SCI Europe Committee convened in Oslo, Norway this month to discuss current issues affecting European hunters and how SCI can protect hunting and foster conservation in this part of the world.
Except for representatives from Ukraine who were absent due to the continuing conflict there, presidents from each European SCI chapter attended to conduct important SCI business and to take critical decisions. SCI Vice-president Joseph Pedersen traveled from the United States to join the Europe Committee, engaging with chapter presidents over issues in their specific countries, then witnessing how they united in the advocacy work of SCI throughout the continent.
During the meeting, the committee discussed its work to reestablish a working chapter in the United Kingdom and open new chapters in several countries across Europe. The group also discussed the progress of several SCI conservation projects in the region, including an pilot project to reestablish roe deer in a region of Portugal. That project used drones to survey habitat and conduct field measurements. The results of the first phase were very positive, and the project will now move to the next stage. Switzerland’s chapter reported on the latest challenge to its innovative black grouse restoration project, in which goats are used to remove invasive vegetation in grouse habitat and breeding grounds. After initial success, the project was threatened by an increasing wolf population and required additional investment in fencing to safeguard its success.
The Europe Committee was also pleased to have SCI Membership and Chapter Services Director Jason St. Michael join them from the United States to update the committee on enhancements to chapter management services affecting members in Europe. Additionally, SCI’s attorney in Europe and FACE representative Konstantina Katrimpouza briefed the group on the EU election manifesto for hunters in preparation of the EU elections scheduled to take place in June 2024.
The Europe Committee remains united, committed and devoted to conservation and the tradition of hunting.