President’s Update

SCI Foundation Continues to Move Forward.

Spring is here, and our thoughts turn to black bear and wild turkey.  Hunting is what we are about, but in order to ensure its future, we must continue to give back by being aggressive stewards of wildlife and the lands we hunt.  SCI Foundation’s wildlife conservation and education programs support sustainable-use, while its humanitarian service programs continue to help those in need around the world.

SCI Foundation continues to work to become the recognized international leader in wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Please spread the word by forwarding this e-newsletter and sharing more about what we do to as Hunters.

The edition features:

  • Wheels on the Ground Needed for Tanzania Lion Project.
  • SCI Foundation Working with Conquistador Council of Boy Scouts of America to Hold Hunter Education Camp.
  • SCI Foundation’s Veterans’ Committee Developing New Brochure to Highlight Committee Activities and Local Chapter Events.
  • A Song of Ivory and Fire: Why destruction of ivory stockpiles might not be a good idea.
  • Rugged Expedition Host J. Alain Smith Pays it Forward in Uganda.
  • And more…

SCI Foundation is making great strides in promoting our mission and the impact of wildlife conservation and education worldwide, the e-news allows us to share our successes with you and others. Please take a moment and forward this e-news to others on your mailing list to help us spread the word.

To learn how you can support SCI Foundation, please contact Joseph Hosmer, President at SCIFPresident@safariclub.org or Bob Benson, Executive Director at BBenson@safariclub.org or (512) 655-2190.

Highlights

Wheels on the Ground Needed for Tanzania Lion Project.

Researchers survey lion tracks in Serengeti National Park.
Conservation – SCI Foundation needs your help to fund a high priority project need! A research vehicle with the Tanzania Lion Project recently suffered a mechanical failure in the field, leaving the project short a vehicle and causing the researchers to alter their survey methods.  Importing replacement parts and repairing this Land Rover will take some time, meaning a new vehicle is needed immediately to continue this important research on the Serengeti plains.

The current methods for estimating lion abundance are imprecise.  The goal of the Tanzania Lion Project is to improve survey methods to allow consistent and accurate lion abundance estimation within the Serengeti National Park study area.  This project is a game changer, ensuring that management of the African lion is based on science, and helping to put SCI Foundation front and center in the lion research community.

Researchers from the Carnivore Ecology Laboratory at Mississippi State University and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute have recently completed the first phase of the project, yielding improvements on the study design.  Preliminary analysis of the data suggests this study will produce the most accurate lion population survey methods that are cost effective and applicable to large areas.  The resulting model will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

The project’s two existing Land Rovers run 18 hours a day during the field season, operating over rugged terrain to complete this important work.  These vehicles are maintained daily by project personnel and serviced weekly by a competent mechanic.  Unfortunately, replacement parts need to be imported to repair the broken vehicle, and it will take weeks to fix properly.  The most intense period of field research is fast approaching this summer, and our people on-the-ground need a third working vehicle to ensure that the research is not inhibited by the temporary loss of one vehicle.

An ideal vehicle, a 2005 Land Rover Defender, 5 door 4×4, 300tdi, has been found in Tanzania and is available for purchase.  The 300tdi is commonly used for fieldwork and safari travel because of its durability, power and familiarity to local mechanics.  The project’s full time mechanic has inspected the vehicle on site and confirmed that the engine, transmission, frame and body are all in excellent condition.  Purchasing costs, not including off-road retrofitting, bring the price to approximately $25,000 USD.

We need you and SCI members to help sponsor this high priority project need! DONATE now to put wheels on the ground and help scientists better assess the status of lions in the wild! The sponsoring group or individual will be formally recognized in SCI Foundation publications and communications on this project.  Sponsors will also be recognized with logos on the Land Rover’s doors.

To learn more about this and other SCI Foundation projects,

visit First for Wildlife on WordPress

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Featured News

SCI Foundation Working with Conquistador Council of Boy Scouts of America to Hold Hunter Education Camp.

Education –  Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation), in cooperation with the Conquistador Council of Boy Scouts of American and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is scheduling on Aug. 5-7, 2016, Hunter Education training for Scouts, their families and others interested in attending a family orientated camp that teaches conservation education and firearms safety.  This training provides a unique opportunity for SCI Foundation to partner with a local Boy Scout Council to implement conservation training.  The training will be held at the Council’s Wehinahpay Mountain Camp, a 320 acre facility located in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico.

The camp will teach youth about hunter ethics, responsibility and safe firearms handling while additionally encouraging the parent(s) of the youth to participate.  This course makes the learning environment more family focused where they gain new useful skills together. SCI Foundation will provide the financial support to the Department of Game and Fish for food, lodging and other supplies (which cannot be purchased directly by Game & Fish).

SCI Foundation is partnering with the Scouts and the Department of Game and Fish with a major objective to educate youth on the important role that responsible hunters play in conservation and wildlife management and the importance to achieve sustainable wildlife resources.  The course curriculum will educate students in the basic standards set by the International Hunter Education Association – U.S.A for nationwide certification reciprocity and covers topics such as hunter ethics and responsibility, firearms nomenclature, safe firearms handling, shooting basics, hunting skills, conservation and wildlife management along with outdoor preparedness and an introduction to muzzleloading, bowhunting and tree-stand safety.

The Department of Game and Fish will be responsible for signing up attendees for this camp.  They plan to advertise this education/camp opportunity starting in early summer, utilizing e-mail distribution lists via their GovDelivery system, press releases, Facebook and other social media outlets.  The Department will send specific notice of this camp to Scouts, 4-H and FFA, local conservation groups, local parks and recreation programs.   Anyone interested in signing up family members, should watch the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website and new releases for information on how to sign up and participate in this educational opportunity.

Events and Fundraising

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Top Stories

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Veterans’ Committee Developing New Brochure

Hunmanitarian Services

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Wounded1

Why Destruction of Ivory Stockpiles Might Not Be a Good Idea

Conservation

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burn

Rugged Expedition's Host J. Alain Smith Pays it Forward in Uganda

Humanitarian Services

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Alain1

International Wildlife Museum Conservation SCIence Adventures

Education

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CSA

Development News

To learn more about the FFWE and how your chapter can take the Chapter Challenge, contact Jordan Hasler at JHasler@safariclub.org

Ensuring the Future of our Traditions and Wildlife.

Development – This last December, on my oldest sons 6th birthday, he and I were able to join my uncle on his once-in–a-lifetime, free-range, Utah bison hunt.  The hunt wasn’t particularly challenging as we looked over several bulls and watched as my uncle harvested a fantastic bull on the first morning.  We were able to ride in on mules and break down and haul the bull back to the vehicles all in one day.  My son had been on a few other hunts, but working on a mature bison bull was a new experience and fairly overwhelming.  As the sun was setting and we were rushing to get everything loaded onto mules, I looked down at my boy and asked if he’d had a fun birthday.  His response was, “this has been the best day of my life.”  I was in too big of a hurry to internalize the significance of this statement at the time, but have since reflected on its importance and will hold it as valuable memory.

Many of you experience similar moments each year with family members and friends all around the world, and I believe that these moments are a significant part of why we take to field.  The interesting thing about this particular hunt is that it’s a relatively new opportunity on a transplanted herd.  In 2009, Utah Division of Wildlife and sportsman joined together to transplant 31 Bison to this location.  Since then, the herd has grown to 350+ animals, and in the fall of 2016, 27 lucky hunters will be able to pursue bison on this unit.  SCI Foundation has recently played a key role in a similar project in Alaska with which many of you are likely already familiar. In April of 2015, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, SCI Foundation, SCI Alaska Chapter, and others joined together to release 100 wood bison back into the wilds of Alaska.  In the not too distant future, Alaskans will be joining with friends and family to pursue wood bison in the same places that their ancestors once did.

In order to be proactive and ensure the ability to continue funding projects similar to these for many years to come, SCI Foundation board and members established the First for Wildlife Endowment. The FFWE is a restricted investment account that locks donations and interest earned from those donations within the account until the endowment reaches a suitable rate of return.  The beauty of this account is that the principle will always remain within the account.  A grant selection committee will determine high priority projects that will be funded off of interest earned.

As we seek to build this endowment, members and chapters alike can take the challenge and contribute to ensure that future generations of hunters are able to have the same cherished experiences that we now enjoy.  To date, the Austin, El Paso, Gateway Area, Greater Atlanta, Iowa, Lansing Area, Lehigh Valley, Louisiana, Louisiana Acadiana, Maine, New York Tri-State, San Diego, SE Michigan Bowhunters, South Florida, Southern New Mexico, Texas Brush Country, and Texas Hill Country Chapters have all taken the Chapter Challenge and made pledges of $10,000 to this endowment.

First for Wildlife,

Jordan Hasler

SCI Foundation Major Gifts Manager