African Conservation Leaders Deliver Strong Message to U.S. Government

Last week, Safari Club International Foundation held its 12th annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) in Livingstone, Zambia. Conservation leaders attending included wildlife management authorities from the nine African counties of Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives from the safari industry, NGO and wildlife science sectors.

The government representatives attending the AWCF delivered this week a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Eric Holder. The letter presents their recommendations for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s Executive Order Combatting Wildlife Trafficking.  The letter recommends that the Task Force appoint Safari Club International Foundation to its Advisory Council to act as a liaison for the African governments who are the principle agents for conserving wildlife on their continent.

“It is distressing that Africa’s governments were not included or even consulted on the U.S. government’s new Task Force to stop poaching. This policy decision of the U.S. government directly affects Africa’s communities, wildlife, and economies. To ignore these countries is an obvious misstep that needs to be rectified,” SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer said.

During the forum, presentations on the global importance of hunting and tourism were made to the AWCF attendees. This spurred great interest on the part of both the African governments and the African professional hunters associations to embark on a socio-economic review of consumptive and non-consumptive tourism in Africa. SCI Foundation will assist in funding and managing this economic review.

The Operators and Professional Hunters Associations of Southern Africa have also sent a letter to the Task Force explaining their integral role in Africa’s wildlife management, and requesting official participation in implementation of the Executive Order. From anti-poaching patrols on land areas that are 22% larger than all the national parks of Africa, to employment opportunities for local individuals, to infrastructure projects that improve the livelihoods of the community where they work and live, the role of the outfitters and professional hunters of the safari business are inextricably linked to the sustainability of Africa’s wildlife.

“The AWCF is successful because it gives African governments, conservation professionals, and professional guides a platform to generate consensus on critical policy issues that are otherwise often made without their input. SCI Foundation is prepared to be the liaison for Africa’s nations, communities, and its future by working directly with the U.S. government to end poaching,” Hosmer concluded.

Letter On Behalf of AWCF Participating Nations: http://wp.me/p2AKuX-f9

Letter On Behalf of Operators and Professional Hunters Associations:http://wp.me/p2AKuX-fh

12th Annual African Wildlife Consultative Form Wrap-up

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Today the 12th annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) came to an end, and the attendees provided insight into Africa’s pressing wildlife policy and management issues.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Senior Wildlife Inspector Jay Pilgrim presented the details of President Obama’s Executive Order on combatting wildlife trafficking. The AWCF delegates expressed concern that Africa’s ideas and cooperation was not adequately included in the United States efforts to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and will share these concerns in a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The letter will include African government recommendations for consideration by the Executive Order’s Task Force and Advisory Council. It also suggests the Task Force reconsider the appointment of SCI Foundation to the Advisory Council, stating a resolution that SCI Foundation is to serves as formal liaison for African issues in the United States.

Wednesday’s discussions on the African lion spurred thought-provoking deliberations as the US Fish and Wildlife Service continues to decide if it will list the African lion as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.  Two lion experts, Dr. Dennis Ikanda of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and Dr. Paula White of Zambia Lion Project presented to the delegates about their ongoing research and the status of the African lion. They also discussed their recent experiences of communicating lion expertise to Members of US Congress, the US Government and NGOs while in Washington DC in June and September.  These efforts were in concert with providing decision makers with all the information necessary on lions, in order to prevent an unwarranted listing decision.

 

In response to these presentations, and following a presentation given by SCI Foundation on the Fighting for Lions campaign, the AWCF governments drafted a letter to Mr. Dan Ashe, Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The African governments wanted to express their concern that the United States did not properly consult African governments for information regarding the African lion as part of the United States led species status review.  The status review is part of the process of considering the lion for listing as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The letter also voiced disappointment that African governments were not involved or even invited to provide information to the USFWS at the June 2013 lion workshop that was held in Arlington, VA.

 

Reports from each country will be presented to close out the meeting. Through these presentations the delegates have the opportunity to show how their countries management and policies are benefitting conservation. SCI Foundation is proud to see that our efforts promote capacity building within the governments and continues to show the global importance of the hunting community. The Foundation looks forward to keeping our readers informed as new information develops.

 

Follow JOE HOSMER on TWITTER @JoeHosmer, INSTAGRAM, AND FACEBOOK!

SCI Foundation Anti-Poaching Program

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The indiscriminate poaching of wildlife species is a crime around the world.  Too often the name of “hunter” is attached to the abhorrent acts of poaching. As ardenthunter-conservationists this could not be further from the truth.  In fact, as a group,hunters help pave the way for responsible wildlife management by paying their way and adhering to game regulations.  Whether it is the quail hunter in Texas or the Cape buffalo hunter in Africa, hunters shoulder a significant amount of the funding needed to help manage healthy wildlife populations.

Each year, SCI Foundation provides additional funding and expertise to help combat corruption and poaching–especially in Africa.  Yet, much remains to be done to make a larger positive impact and see the trend reversed.  Collaboration and sharing resources is critical to improve the plight of many species.

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Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) has….

  • Awarded multiple grants to land conservancies in Southern Africa that serve as important reserves for rhinoceros including Savé Valley (Lowveld) Conservancy and Bubye Valley Conservancy.
  • Provided over $80,000 over the last several years to fund rangers, aircraft, trail cameras, telemetry equipment and other tools to combat the increase in poaching in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Allocated $25,000 to Chiredzi River Conservancy to promote its anti-poaching activities through the deployment of Game Scouts (anti-poaching rangers) that patrol the conservancy.
  • Empowered the Friedkin Conservation Fund (Tanzania) to conduct surveillance flights with microlight aircraft ($25,000). The microlight covers more than 9 million acres of protected areas.
  • Partnered with The WILD Foundation since 2011 to fight rhino poaching in South Africa through the Rhino Informant Incentive Fund (RIIF). $5,000 was designated as the start-up capital for the program.
  • Worked with StealthCam and Boyt Harness Company to deliver 30 trail cameras to the Tanzanian Government for protected area surveillance.

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SCI Foundation is currently investigating new partnerships to bring advanced drone technology to track illegal activity in Africa and employ scent-detection dogs in the apprehension of illegal wildlife traffickers smuggling items like ivory and horn. Furthermore, collaboration is needed to break down the demand for illicit wildlife parts through public education and outreach.

Please consider making a contribution to SCI Foundation so that anti-poaching initiatives can be bolstered to combat poachers throughout the continent. Help our organization leverage your dollars for larger grants to combat poaching in Africa.

Representing Hunters at CITES International Conference

 
SCI and SCI Foundation to Represent Hunters at CITES
International Conference Will Influence Wildlife Conservation

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2013

Washington, DC – Safari Club International (SCI) and Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) and will represent hunter-conservationists during the 16th Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The 16th CoP takes place in Bangkok, Thailand March 3-14, and may be the most influential event that will shape international wildlife conservation objectives for the next 3 years. 

“Our organizations are leaders in wildlife conservation who represent the hunter-conservationist at the world level,” said Joe Hosmer, President and SCI Foundation delegate. “For decades now, SCI and SCI Foundation have been working with countries to develop science-based wildlife management goals that benefit overall wildlife population health and sustainability of rural economies.”

CITES is a treaty among 177 countries that ensures cross-border trade in animals and plants does not harm individual species.  SCI Foundation and SCI attend as international non-governmental organizations, and work with delegates from various countries to ensure that major trade decisions are based on sound science rather than politics and emotion. 

“High profile policy issues such as the potential up-listing of polar bear will be exploited by animal-welfare organizations that ignore substantive science in their lobbying,” stated John Whipple, President of Safari Club International.  “The range nations for polar bear — Canada, Norway, and Denmark which represents Greenland — and the CITES secretariat oppose the proposal for up-listing because it lacks a scientific justification. The animal welfare organizations have little interest in science; choosing to only advocate for their parochial political motivations.”

“SCI Foundation, in cooperation with Safari Club International, developed a comprehensive voting guide on all the policy recommendations being considered at the 16th CoP. We hope that every international conservationist will seek the counsel of the accomplished advisors who developed our materials for this incredibly important conference on wildlife conservation,” concluded Hosmer.

Find SCI Foundations positions on issues at www.safariclubfoundation.org/CITES.  

Like SCI Foundation on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SCIFOUNDATIONCONSERVATION Join SCI Foundation on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SCIFoundation Learn more today at http://FirstForWildlife.wordpress.com

 

Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, and outdoor education. Since 2000, SCIF has provided over $50 million to these causes around the world. 

Visit the SCI Foundation’s new website at www.safariclubfoundation.org for more information on how you can contribute to international conservation.

Contact: Nelson Freeman, Media@safariclub.org

 

Inspirational sportsmen will be honored – 2013 SCI Foundation Pathfinders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2013

Tucson, Ariz. – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) will recognize the amazing achievements of Doug Bermel and Brad Garfield on Jan. 25, 2013 in Reno, Nev.  These inspirational sportsmen will be honored as the 2013 SCI Foundation Pathfinders in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

“It is an honor and a privilege for SCI Foundation to confer this recognition upon extraordinary sportsmen like Doug and Brad,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. “All sportsmen and women should be proud of these two men for their outstanding personal achievements in the face of such daunting life-challenges.”

SCI Foundation coordinates world-class hunting safaris for the annual recipients of this recognition. The Pathfinder is presented to individuals who are faced with overcoming a physical challenge or disability that is otherwise capable of interfering with a routine way through life; he or she must discover previously unexplored regions of self-esteem, self-worth, courage, persistence, and determination. The recipient is someone who has a “never quit” attitude and who is recognized as an ambassador for other “pathfinders” seeking leadership when faced with similar challenges.

“Please join us in Reno, Nevada on January 25th where we will recognize both Doug and Brad,” concluded Hosmer.

Doug and Brad will be recognized at SCI’s 41st Annual Hunters’ Convention in Reno, Nevada on January 25, 2013. If you are interested in attending the convention, please visit ww.showsci.org.

More about Doug Bermel:
At the age of 27, Doug Bermel was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy [ALD] which is a progressive heredity disease with symptoms similar to Multiple Sclerosis.  As the disease progressed, Doug switched to using a crossbow and adapted his hunting style to accommodate the disability and weather conditions.  Doug became the 2001 NRA Beeman Shooting Champion after a 14-city tour in the US and Canada, acquiring 10 gold medals and qualifying for the World Championship in Korea.  He is the former Disabled Shooting Coordinator for the Archery Trade Association and a retired United States Paralympics Shooting Team Member, competing in Germany, France, Holland, Italy and Canada.  Doug represented the US in two World Championships: Korea 2002 and Switzerland 2006.  Doug’s current activities include writing a monthly column for Bowhunter.net, serving as President of TIP (Turn in Poachers), a board member with Minnesota Bowhunters Incorporated, a Disabled Coordinator with the International Bowfishing Association, and serving as the President and co-founder of Minnesota Broken Wing since 1992. Doug remains active with Physically Challenged Bowhunter of America and has been a Minnesota Firearm Safety Instructor for 31 years. He is also the Past President of Capable Partners (CP), an organization that matches a disabled person with an abled body person in specialized hunting and fishing events.

More about Brad Garfield: 
In May of 2005, Brad Garfield was medevac’d from Iraq when an IED he was attempting to neutralize detonated. After a very long recovery period, and numerous surgeries, Brad was able to complete the remainder of his 30 year career in a non-deployable assignment at Quantico, Virginia. He subsequently retired as only the fourth Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) in the history of the Marine Corps’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) field. Brad received the Marine Corps Engineer Association’s EOD Officer of the Year award 5 times.  His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, The Navy Marine Corps Commendation medal (with “V” and two gold stars), the Army Commendation medal, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal (with gold star), the Army Achievement medal, The Combat Action ribbon (with two gold stars), the Marine Corps Expeditionary medal, the Humanitarian Service medal (with bronze star), the Outstanding Volunteer Service medal (with bronze star), and the Marine Security Guard ribbon.  Brad earned a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University. He is involved with many wounded warrior support organizations including Patriots and Heroes Outdoors, Idaho ‘N’ Heroes Outdoors, Hunts for Healing, Safari Club International (Former Co-Chair of the Humanitarian Services Committee, Chesapeake Chapter), Paralyzed Veterans of America, LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve, and Chappy’s Outdoors (VP of Operations), to name a few.  Brad loves to hunt and has traveled the world harvesting animals with all manner of tackle including, rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, flintlock, compound bow and crossbow.  His passion is hunting and giving back to those who have given so much in the service of their country.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nelson Freeman; Nfreeman@safariclub.org

– SCIF –

 Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Safari Care, Disabled Hunter, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More and Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors. Since 2000, SCIF has provided over $50 million to these causes around the world.  Call 877-877-3265 or visitwww.safariclubfoundation.org for more information.


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The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and partners are working to advance sound, science-based management of wildlife resources worldwide. SCI Foundation’s Conservation Committee invites you to attend our wildlife conservation-related seminars at the 2013 Safari Club International Convention featuring North American, African and Asian species.  Learn about new ways international hunters are contributing to science-based conservation worldwide. Check out the topics below, spread the word and then drop by and join the discussion! See you in Reno!

Seminars