Safari Club International led the way to secure incredible progress for sportsmen this summer through a number of highly successful strategic advocacy initiatives and programs aimed at protecting the freedom to hunt and promote wildlife conservation.
Topping the list was SCI’s support of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), signed into law by President Donald Trump on August 4 and has been called “the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century.” SCI applied constant and strategic pressure throughout the summer to ensure these positive outcomes for all sportsmen, including a virtual advocacy week that saw unprecedented member engagement. SCI worked closely with Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to ensure the success of the GAOA, which greatly benefits sportsmen and conservation.
Likewise, SCI advocated for sportsmen’s rights by convincing the House Natural Resources Committee members why the CECIL Act, and trophy bans in general, are bad policy and bad for conservation. As a result, anti-hunters were largely unsuccessful in pushing the 5th anniversary of the Cecil the Lion Campaign, which achieved no legislative activity. SCI members also played a pivotal role in petitioning the Department of the Interior to support the unprecedented expansion of hunting and fishing access.
Another key victory was leading the opposition to California Senate Bill 1175 (known as the Iconic African Species Act) which died on the State Senate floor when time expired for a concurrence vote. The effective coordination and effective engagements facilitated by SCI created a powerful lobby against SB 1175 and was instrumental for its demise.
SCI was pleased to announce that W. Laird Hamberlin, CEO of SCI, and Jackie Bushman, CEO of Buckmasters, officially executed a joint venture agreement that provides SCI a seat on the Buckmasters Board of Directors as well as recognition as a premier sponsor.
SCI’s Share the Impact Outfitter Benefit was an unprecedented online charity event that raised over half a million dollars to support guides and outfitters negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Also, SCI introduced a new website and store to deliver the most important news to hunters daily.
Finally, SCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ducks Unlimited (DU), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and the Public Lands Council (PLC) to outline the groups’ shared commitment to the conservation of natural resources through sustainable multiple uses. SCI continues to enhance conservation efforts by supporting a Missouri bear management plan, a mountain lion research management plan, moose research to shape a management plan in Vermont, and a Wyoming mule deer migration initiative.
“This has been a consequential summer for sportsmen and for SCI in a year compounded by challenges posed by COVID-19,” said W. Laird Hamberlin, SCI CEO. “SCI has not wavered in the face of these challenges, delivering advocacy wins for hunters, monetary support for outfitters facing hardship brought on by the pandemic and continuing important wildlife conservation projects. When hunters look for a leader to advance their interests, they are increasingly looking at SCI.”