SCI Holds May 2024 Board Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) recently hosted its May 2024 Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C., providing a unique opportunity for SCI Board Members to discuss legislative and regulatory issues affecting hunting and wildlife conservation around the world.  

From May 9 – May 11, SCI Board Members participated in a productive Lobby Day and attended the Board of Directors Reception at The Hunters’ Embassy on Capitol Hill, where they could thank their representatives for supporting hunting rights and brief them on hunting issues in their states. There was also a President’s Dinner on Friday night, which featured remarks by Chris LaCivita, senior advisor to President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, on the importance of this year’s election to SCI’s policy priorities.

As SCI enters its 53rd year of being “FIRST FOR HUNTERS,” the organization continues to monitor and lobby on behalf of sportsmen worldwide at every level of government. This Lobby Day, more than 80 SCI Board Members met with 106 Congressional offices on Lobby Day. These meetings proved effective, once again, at educating lawmakers on the issues, and we are immensely grateful for their support.

“This year’s Board of Director’s Meeting was a reflection of the critical role SCI’s staff and membership play in moving the needle on pro-conservation and hunting policies,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “I want to thank all who were able to join us in our nation’s capital and our allies in Congress committed to protecting wildlife and hunters’ rights. We cannot win these battles without you, and for that, we are grateful.”

During SCI’s May Board Meeting, our leadership confirmed that the issues below are critical to protecting the freedom to hunt and continuing proven sustainable-use conservation policies here and around the world:

  • Supporting a No-Net-Loss policy to maintain or increase hunting and fishing access nationwide, encompassing physical, economic, and informational access to foster responsible stewardship of natural resources.
  • Reform of the Endangered Species Act to better incorporate the vital role of state wildlife management and conservation as well as to allow for better implementation and recognition of successful international conservation efforts.
  • Sustainable conservation funding generated by proven strategies like the Pittman-Robertson model.

In addition, SCI Board Members lobbied in support of the following legislative priorities in the 118th Congress:

  • H.R. 7408: The America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act, introduced by House Resources Chair and former SCI Federal Legislator of the Year Bruce Westerman, would modernize the Endangered Species Act to promote recovery of listed species and invest in state-led wildlife management, empowering states to control management policy for the wildlife within their borders.
  • H.R. 764: The Trust the Science Act requires reissuance of regulations removing the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife under the Endangered Species Act, completing over 20 years of bipartisan efforts to delist recovery wolves. This bill has passed the House, and we encourage the Senate to take up and pass H.R. 764 as soon as possible.
  • H.R. 615/S. 1185: The Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act would prohibit the banning of lead ammunition on public lands without sufficient scientific justification. This bill protects hunter choice and recognizes the lack of scientific evidence to support a broad ban or phaseout of lead ammunition and tackle. This bill has passed the House, and we encourage the Senate to take up and pass S. 1185 as soon as possible.
  • H.R. 6727/S. 618: The US Foundation for International Conservation Act would establish the U.S. Foundation for International Conservation, a public/private funded effort to drive $1 billion towards international conservation over the next five years. The funds are to be directed to nations who, among other stability requirements, direct the money towards improvement efforts such as sustainable use hunting conservation.
  • H.R. 6492/S. 873: The bipartisan Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act works to make it easier for disabled hunters to go afield, improve and build public shooting ranges, and reduce barriers for America’s hunters to access public land. This bill has passed the House, and we encourage the Senate to take up and pass its Senate companion, S.873, the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA).

Lastly, May’s Board Meeting solidified a 5 percent increase in the size of SCI’s chapter network this year. This was celebrated as the board voted to incorporate three brand new chapters:

  1. The SCI Coastal Empire Chapter: A regional chapter in the Savannah, Georgia and Bluffton, South Carolina area with Mr. Tom Potere as the inaugural President.
  2. The SCI Mid-South Chapter: A new chapter representing the Memphis, Tennessee area with Mr. Brent Marcum as the inaugural President.
  3. The SCI Lubbock Sportsman’s Club: A chapter based out of Lubbock, Texas with Mr. Roger Key as the inaugural President.
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