Welcome to the November SCI Foundation First for Wildlife e-Newsletter. We thank you for your support and wish everyone a bountiful holiday season.
In addition, this edition also features the following:
- American Wilderness Leadership School Facility Renovation Project Needs Your Support.
- Tanzania Lion Research Promises Accurate Population Survey.
- SCI 2016 Convention Features Sportsmen Against Hunger Event.
- International Wildlife Museum Pond Renovation Underway.
- SCI Foundation Scholarships Support 25 College Students.
- Legend Ranch Becomes Sponsor of Beretta Conservation Leadership Award.
Also note that this month we have included a link to our 2015 Annual Fund Drive Reminder. We sincerely wish to thank those that have already donated, and we ask those that haven’t to take a moment to read about all of the work we are currently doing with the support of our generous donors.
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.
American Wilderness Leadership School Facility Renovation Project Needs Your Support
By Sandra Sadler, Sables Past President
Education – For those who have visited or participated in a program at the SCI Foundation American Wilderness Leadership School know the scenery is one of the most wonderful in the western United States. They know the location of the facility in the Granite Creek area south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming inspires all to learn more about wildlife conservation and shooting sports.
AWLS Wyoming ranch is where we conduct professional development for educators, SCI Chapter training session and host meetings of other organization.
Since the purchase of AWLS in 1983, facility improvements were made to accommodate guests while housing for staff was put on the back burner. Staff housing is substandard cabins in need of replacement and renovation. When Audrey Murtland, Sables founder, and I were visiting AWLS summer of 2014 we toured the staff cabins. We decided it is time we bring staff housing to a more livable environment. We made the commitment to research designs, plans and raise funds. Through Sables we formed a task force of volunteers to help. Members are: Sandra Sadler, Audrey Murtland, Steve Skold, Eddie Grasser, Merle Shepard, Veronica Kosich and Gary Gearhart.
Staff work long intense hours to teach educators from across the country about wildlife management with hunting as a management tool as well as a recreational activity and source of food. Most leave their families at home while they come to AWLS to share their knowledge and expertise. We decided to bring the building idea to the Sables Governing Board. They contributed $140,000 toward the project to kick off the fund raising.
The next step is to raise another $110,000 toward the estimated total $250,000 project. We expect to begin construction August 2016 immediately after the last summer educator workshop.
We are asking for donations. All donations are tax deductible. Donor recognition will be displayed on the cabins and in the AWLS lodge.
To make a donation contact the SCIF Education department at (520) 620-1220 or send an email to Sue Hankner, Director of Education at email@example.com.
Safari Club International Foundation facilitated the 14th meeting of the African Wildlife Consultative ForumConservation – Safari Club International Foundation facilitated the 14th meeting of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) hosted by South Africa in Limpopo Province from 9-13 November. The forum introduced wide-ranging perspectives of wildlife professionals focused on Africa’s highest priority conservation issues.
Government officials, non-governmental conservation organizations and a diverse group of wildlife stakeholders from thirteen countries participated in the four-day conference. The hunting community was well represented by heads of Professional Hunting Associations, who have provided crucial perspectives on the management of hunting to the participating governments since the first AWCF in 2001.
“We strongly believe a cooperative approach to conservation is key to ensure wise decisions are made in wildlife management and policy,” said SCI Foundation President Joseph Hosmer. “The AWCF not only provides a unique opportunity for wildlife professionals to deliberate on conservation issues, it presents new scientific information to the officials who are managing Africa’s wildlife.”
Major outcomes of the 14th AWCF include reviews of government anti-poaching programs, the identification of new resources that can be applied to fight poaching, the development of new science on carnivore population dynamics, a new initiative that will assess the social and conservation benefits derived from wildlife utilization at a local level, and continued range state cooperation on finalizing a continental status review for the African lion.
Participants were given a sobering reminder that Kruger National Park is losing two rhinos each day to poachers, but were inspired by the dedication of South Africa National Parks rangers who are on the front lines of protecting those rhinos at great personal risk to themselves.
The Tanzania Wildlife Division, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, and Mississippi State University presented preliminary results from a 2015 survey of Serengeti National Park’s lion population. The results are significant because they suggest that a new and improved approach to estimating lion populations may soon be available.
This pro-sustainable use conservation forum also discussed the importance of long-term land use planning to sustain wildlife and wildlife habitats. Forum participants were challenged to look several decades into the future and anticipate what environmental conditions will be like if current projections of human population growth become reality. “Well thought approaches that allocate space for wildlife habitats is essential to secure wildlife populations, as well as approaches for minimizing adverse human impacts to these habitats,” said the delegation from Mozambique.
International policy was addressed at this forum in the context of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). A representative of the CITES Secretariat was invited to review the leading issues relevant to Africa that will be addressed at upcoming CITES meetings in 2016. CITES regulates the international trade of threatened and endangered biodiversity to ensure their conservation and their value to people. Sometimes counter-intuitive to the general public, hunting is recognized by CITES to have important conservation benefits to threatened and endangered species.
“For many years, hunting has been vital to conservation worldwide because of the incentives it provides people to conserve wildlife and their habitats,” said SCI Foundation Conservation Chairman Alan Maki. In the words of the Namibia’s delegation from their Ministry of Environment and Tourism, “If you remove hunting, you have also removed conservation.”
South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs recognizes that hunting contributes significantly to conservation, tourism, job creation and sustainable development, especially in rural areas, and is part of the broader biodiversity economy. The AWCF embraces these values that hunting brings to people and wildlife.
Events and Fundraising
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importance of your contributions to the conservation of wildlife and the education of our youth, which is at the core of SCI Foundation’s mission.
SCI Foundation’s ultimate goal is to ensure our future generations have even more opportunities to hunt abundant game populations than we’ve enjoyed, which requires both conservation and education.