SCI Joins America’s Conservation Leaders at AWCP Meeting
The American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) convened this week in Omaha Nebraska at the 85th North American Wildlife and Natural Resource Management Conference. Safari Club International (SCI) had a seat the table to discuss priorities and issues that impact our members and the hunting community at large and SCI has proudly served as a member of AWCP for almost two decades.
AWCP is a coalition of over 50 organizations linked together by their dedication to ensuring the vitality of our wildlife resources and providing for sustainable public use and enjoyment of those resources under the science-based management of the state and federal fish and wildlife agencies. SCI has been a member for nearly two decades.
In order to further the mission of AWCP, members regularly interact and engage with federal agencies and Congress to advance policies, both legislative and regulatory, which promote wildlife conservation and public access for hunting and fishing. The group frequently submits formal letters to Members of Congress, Congressional committees, federal agencies, and other governing entities and recently submitted a letter outlining the negative conservation implications of the United Kingdom’s Proposed ban on the import and export of hunting trophies. The group also convenes in person several times a year.
The recent meeting kicked off with an address from Aurelia Skipwith, the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Director Skipwith provided updates on a variety of agency priorities, including the potential delisting of wolves and grizzly bears and the legal challenges the USFWS faces with trying to move forward with the delisting process. She also provided updates on efforts to streamline the hunting rules and regulations at National Wildlife Refuges to align more closely with the rules and regulations of respective states.
Representatives from the USFWS also provided a demonstration of their “Find Your Hunt” online program, an interactive map that makes planning a hunting trip at a National Wildlife Refuge easier than ever.
The bulk of the meeting focused on updating “Wildlife for The 21st Century”, a document that outlines the collective legislative priorities and recommendations of AWCP member organizations. The latest edition will be the fifth version of the series. Previous volumes were provided to Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump. The updated version will be distributed to the 2020 Republican and Democratic presidential nominees to help inform them of pressing issues related to wildlife conservation and our hunting heritage. Each recommendation is based on sound science and builds on the historical achievements of conservationists in making this country’s wildlife resources the envy of the world.