Developing the next generation of hunter conservationists
Education makes a difference in wildlife conservation. Sportsmen and women, avid in their passion of the outdoors, pass on their knowledge to peers and young people to continue our outdoor heritage. What better way to learn about the outdoors and nature than by attending educational programs and workshops that not only focus on conservation education but demonstrate how to use the outdoors and nature as a classroom?
R3, an initiative focused on recruiting, retaining & reactivating hunters and target shooters, is being implemented through education to pass on the hunting heritage. Forming and developing strong partnerships with like-minded organizations is crucial to turn around the decline in hunting. To do this each organization must do to their part to establish more partnerships and programs. With that in mind, Education Sables is expanding support in projects that emphasize our hunting traditions and support R3 initiatives.
American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) near Jackson, Wyoming has more than 5,500 alumni who learned what and how to teach youth about conservation and the role of hunting. The core curriculum focuses on wildlife conservation which is based on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Students also receive other hands-on outdoor education and recreation subjects like stream ecology and outdoor survival. This college level course/professional development for educators influences what is taught in schools across the country.
Collectively, AWLS alumni reach 82,000 youth each year with lessons in conservation education.
At SCI Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School location in Jackson, Wyoming, educators and students learn about conservation, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation through outdoor, hands-on activities.
Conservation Education and other Scholarships
Sables Hunting Heritage Scholarships are established at five universities: C.J. McElroy scholarship at West Virginia University, Joe Leta scholarship at Unity College in Maine, SCIF Sables scholarship at Texas A & M University-Kingsville, Elaine and Gus Vogeler scholarship at the University of Idaho and the Brown-Monson scholarship at the University of Montana. These scholarships provide merit-based financial assistance for students majoring in wildlife sciences.
SCIF two and four-year scholarships are awarded each year through the SCIF Education Scholarship Committee review process. Students with an interest in wildlife sciences, natural resources or a related field apply. The scholarship is sent to the college they choose to attend. These are for entering freshman, college juniors and seniors as well as graduate and post graduate students.
Other unique scholarships have been established like the Mitchell Hamline Law School and the Don McMillian Memorial Scholarship. New this year, SCIF has initiated fund raising for the Hal Shockey and Len Johann Memorial Scholarship at the University of Saskatchewan.
The Salvation Army Outdoor (TSA) Partnership
A youth program partnership between Education Sables and The Salvation Army Outdoors was established in 2009. Since that time, SCIF has provided instruction and equipment for conservation education to be utilized for conservation education and shooting sports. Because of this partnership, TSA Outdoors has trained over 519 Basic Archery Instructors, 64 Basic Archery Instructor Trainers, 127 Basic Air Rifle Instructors and 21 Basic Air Rifle Instructor Trainers. This allows TSA Outdoor programs to reach 230,000 youth annually who learn and experience archery and pellet rifle shooting, and conservation lessons.
The Boy Scouts of America Partnership
A youth program partnership has been established with Boy Scouts of America. The program emphasizes teaching hunter education and shooting sports at the BSA Summit Bechtel Reserve facility. Scouts can receive hunter education certification, conservation education lessons including the role of hunting and developing their shooting sports skills. Approximately 2,900 youths from 44 states have already participated in these activities in 2018. SCIF also sponsors other BSA shooting sports and hunter education activities through grants and donations.
Other Partnerships and Grants
Education Sables partner with SCI Chapters and like-minded organizations through SCI Foundation grant programs that provide financial support for conservation education programs for youth in local communities and internationally. $198,000 was distributed to partners, chapters and youth programs this past year.
International Wildlife Museum
Hunters are first among conservationists, protecting the freedom to hunt by conserving wildlife. At the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, we create an awareness on the part of our visitors to the role of hunting in wildlife management. Throughout the museum, conservation and the role of hunting is a cornerstone of exhibits and special events, often providing a up close examination of representative species found around the world. Over 49,000 visitors including 20,000 youth visit the exhibits and special events learning about international conservation of wildlife.