Today, sportsmen and women face increasing pressure from anti-hunting groups that are looking to restrict our rights to manage wildlife through regulated hunting. These organizations have a loud voice, and hunters desperately need a conservation group that will work to protect our rights to hunt and fish now and in the future. That group is Safari Club International, or SCI. Don’t be fooled into thinking that SCI’s primary interests lie overseas or that you must be a world traveler to become a member. On the contrary, SCI protects your rights in your backyard. If you hunt, this organization is here to protect you. Hunters are a key component to the successful conservation of wildlife across this country, and more than any other single group hunters contribute to the well-being of wildlife. For example, in 2011 696,000 hunters and anglers in Arkansas (both residents and non-residents) spent $1.55 billion, which was higher revenue than the state realized from total soybean production ($1.42 billion) and supported 25,393 jobs in the state, more than the largest employer, Wal-Mart. Sportsmen and women generated $163 million in state and local taxes, enough to support the average salaries of 4,446 police officers, and that’s just in one state.
So, why SCI?
SCI is the mouthpiece for those hunters and anglers and millions more across the country. When Maine’s bear hunters needed aid last year in the face of legislation that would limit hunting SCI was there. When Virginia needed help to overturn a ban on Sunday hunting SCI was their voice. When road closures were proposed to limit access and undermine management practices it was SCI that stepped in. No matter what you hunt or where you live, SCI is standing in to protect your rights.
SCI is a conservation organization first and foremost, and the SCI Foundation is funding scientific research to determine the health and status of a variety of North American wildlife. The Hunter Legislation Fund and SCI Foundation funded the reintroduction of wood bison into the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The organization backed the Michigan Predator-Prey Project to determine the effects of populations of large predators on species like white-tailed deer. In 2011, the SCI Foundation partnered with Montana Fish, Wildife and Parks to fund a study on the influence of predation, habitat and nutrition on elk herds in the Bitterroot Valley. The list goes on and on.
The North American model of conservation is the most successful in the world, and at its core are hunters. Now more then ever, we need a voice, and that voice is SCI. If you’re a hunter then SCI is the organization that will stand with you, both locally and in Washington D.C., to protect your rights. For more information visit http://www.safariclub.org.