Archive for the ‘hunting’ Category
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.
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!
Catching up with Joe Hosmer wasn’t easy. His e-mail auto message said that he was in the field–that could mean any place in the world. Finally, he texted back that he was “chasing dogs that were chasing pheasants in South Dakota,” but would get back soon. At least he was on the same continent.
When we did connect, Joe first sent me pictures of his Gordon setters, which are almost like extensions of his soul. This is a man who deeply loves hunting dogs and hunting in general, and now, after retiring from a very successful career running an executive search business, he is President of Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation), guiding something very new, special and sorely needed by the hunting community.
He explains the difference between Safari Club International (SCI) and Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) as: “SCI is ‘First For Hunters,’ while the SCI Foundation is ‘First For Wildlife.’ The Foundation oversees Sustainable Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Education. The Foundation also is a proud supporter of SCI Humanitarian Services and the Wildlife Museum, in Tucson, Arizona. In all this realignment the Foundation is now guided by its own separate, 15-member Board of Directors, for which I serve as its President. The Foundation funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. It provides the scientific backing of sound wildlife research allowing for pro-hunting regulations and policies to move forward for all sportsmen and women to benefit. We have been charged to independently grow the SCI Foundation and become the foremost wildlife Foundation within the global hunting community. SCI Foundation’s directors are is ready to expand the brand of First For Wildlife to the far corners of the hunting community in support of sustainable use.”
How does one get to do what Joe Hosmer does? Joe Hosmer grew up in rural southern Vermont on a farm that raised standard-bred racehorses and Springer Spaniel grouse hunting dogs. For sure, hunting definitely is in his blood. I asked him about how he got started and Joe spun a good yarn about his first deer.
“Unlike many horse farms in Vermont, ours was not a manicured showplace,” Joe says. “It was simply a well maintained and comfortable piece of ground we all loved. We cut our own hay, maintained a small apple orchard and mucked out our own stalls. The name of our farm was Birchcrest Farm Stables. It was so named for the ridgeline that was covered with white birch trees which served as the backdrop of our house and barns.”
On the farm, hunting was a way of life. “We harvested deer and grouse just as we would pick apples or wild strawberries. Hunting deer, however, was a special event. It was, and probably still is, a social time for hunters that started in early November and culminated on Thanksgiving weekend.
“Our family had a deer camp a couple of towns over in a place called ‘Popple Dungeon’. The area was named for the quaking aspen trees that grew so thickly in the area that the woods always seemed dark, due to the shade from the leaf cover and being in a deep valley. It was, by Vermont standards, big country.
“Our deer camp was an old house trailer with a rough porch and mudroom tacked onto the front. My father was involved in the telephone construction business and would use deer season as an excuse to bring his clients into the social mix as a way of thanking them for using his construction crews. Probably not a politically correct gesture these days, but it the 50s and 60s it was what it was.
“Eventually our deer camp caught the attention of several outdoor writers who were friends of friends. They would even join us for a few days and we would marvel at how our little camp had made the sports section of the New York Times. Lee Wolfe, Jack Carlin and others became family regulars during deer season.
“One year, while I was still in grade school, I was taken out of class on a Thursday so I could be with the ‘men’ in Popple Dungeon for Friday and Saturday. My first deer rifle was an old 44-40 Winchester lever action. The bluing had worn off of it so it almost shined from all the wear. I proudly carried my .44-40 while sneaking through the woods and spending hours atop huge boulders, just waiting for an unsuspecting whitetail buck to pass through my domain. I was always assigned to one of the men so I wouldn’t wander too far astray. I thought this practice was ridiculous since I would travel these woods in the summertime on a regular solo basis, only accompanied by a dog or two.
“My first weekend at deer camp was a rite of passage unto itself. I was now one of the guys. I could spit, drink coffee, hear dirty jokes, and not shower, all without getting ‘spoken-to’! What a wonderful place to be!
“Well, my first weekend came and went and the Vermont deer herd was never bothered by our presence. Mom came on Sunday and dropped off a box of food and supplies for the hunters and picked me up to go home. There is no Sunday hunting in Vermont and it was a day to resupply and say good-bye to some guests and welcome newcomers.
“Monday morning came and I got up early and did my chores of feeding and watering the horses. We kept a few horses in what we called the south pasture, which was a short walk to the gate from the back of the barn. I would fill a couple buckets, one with oats and the other with sweet feed, lug them down to our homemade feeding troths, call in the horses and make sure they were all okay.
“I got about half way down to the gate when I noticed a buck chasing a doe through the orchard, several hundred yards away. I set my feed buckets down and sneaked back to the barn. Once out of sight of the deer, I bolted to the house. I yelled some headlines to my mother as I grabbed my .44-40 and reversed my route. Once in the barn I climbed to the hayloft where I could get a better view of the orchard. I peeked out the loft door and confirmed that the buck was still there.
“Scooting back down the loft ladder and out to the opposite side of the barn from the deer I made a plan. I slipped up along a low spot of land out of sight from the deer. I would occasionally crawl up to a point where I could peer over and see the deer, as I had to reassure myself that they were still there. Finally, when I thought I was close enough, I lined up the open sights on the huge buck and let loose with the old .44-40. I don’t know if I connected with that first shot or not, as I just kept shooting until the deer wasn’t moving anymore. I sure didn’t want to lose him!
“As I approached him he seemed like the biggest deer ever (whereas in hindsight, my monster buck was a rather young and small, eight-pointer).
“Now, as dad would say, ‘the work begins.’ I had never field dressed a deer before, but had seen it done in my young past once. Unsure of myself, I ran home and told mom of my victory and of my dilemma. It was now too late to catch my bus for school and the horses in the south pasture had still not been fed. Mom, unafraid of anything, still knew her limits and field cleaning a deer was not in her basket of skills. Dad was still at deer camp with no telephone and I was willing to try, but there was clearly hesitation. Mom sent me out to finish my chores and give her a chance to come up with a solution. I was done in record time and back in the house awaiting her decision.
“Soon a car arrived in our yard and it was mom’s friend and my school nurse, Cherry Bleakney. Grabbing everything we thought we would need, I led mom and Cherry to the orchard where my deer laid. I remember that I was so relieved to see him still there as I was sure he would regain life somehow and run off. Cherry was a longtime friend of the family and a hardy lady of New Brunswick origin; a hunter in her own right.
“Between the three of us we took care of a very shot-up deer. We hung it in the barn and Cherry drove me to school, after a quick shower and change of clothes. We dealt with getting some tenderloin off the deer and after school mom and I drove to Popple Dungeon to give it to dad. Since there was no phone at deer camp, our arrival was quite a surprise and delight to everyone. We all had a few bites of tenderloin from the cast-iron frying pan and I reveled in my fifteen minutes of fame as a big game hunter. I think mom and dad were pretty proud of their eight-year old grade-schooler, too.
“His hunting buddies, of course, kidded dad, that the women and children of the Hosmer family were the real hunters. That was the only deer taken by our family and friends that year, which made it even more special.”
From his start as an eight-year-old Vermont deer hunter, Joe became the founder and former CEO of Mountain Ltd., a Maine-based global engineering and technical search firm. The business, which boasts over 500 professional specialists, specializes in business staffing, telecommunications engineering solutions, remote area expertise, extensive third world and LDC experience, high-end headhunting, for-profit and not-for-profit business development.
Joe still dabbles in business consulting, when not working with the SCI Foundation (which is like a full-time job), and squeezing in as much hunting as he can. To give you a feel for his schedule,according to Joe’s blog, this has been his schedule for the last couple months: July 17 in Maine for the summer, August 3 in Dallas conducting interviews, August 22 in Jackson Hole for SCI Foundation Board meeting, September 14 in Botswana for African Wildlife Consultative Forum, October 1 in Maine for grouse and woodcock season, October 17 in Texas, and October 24 in South Dakota for pheasant hunting.
Joe assures me that he has plenty of time for other recreation, too. When hunting season ends, and he is home, you may find him riding the backroads of the Texas Hill Country on an Adventure motorcycle or driving a Russian-built sidecar.
When he was recently inducted into the Telephone Hall of Fame, Joe was described as an adventurer, who happens to also be a remote/international/arctic traveler; big game and upland bird hunter; former professional motorcycle road racer and competitive Land Rover enthusiast; published photographer and technical rock climbing instructor; who also happened to build and run corporations and serve on many corporate and public service Boards of Directors, who has no more spare time and is flunking retirement!
As a world-wide ambassador for hunting, I asked Joe what he felt needed to be done to save hunting. Reflecting on the future of hunting, Joe, who recently appeared on a national television show talking about “how green hunting is,” says, “we hunters are often our own worst enemies. The different factions of hunters fighting among ourselves-different groups, different kinds of hunting-is self-destructive.
“We should be uniting to get that positive image of hunting out to that 80% of the population that sits between the anti-hunters and the pro-hunters and votes. We will never change the antis, so why spin our wheels fighting them when we could be building positive alliances and support to keep hunting going and conserve wildlife for future generations?”
As President of the SCI Foundation, Joe Hosmer is in a unique position to make a major contribution to developing educational programs that can help save hunting and the web of life that supports wild game. He said that he’s currently hunting for corporate sponsors and philanthropists to help the SCI Foundation really take off. If you’d like to lend a hand, you can contact him via the Foundation offices.
Written by: James Swan, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Producer, “Wild Justice,” Nat. Geo. Channel
& CEO, Snow Goose Productions
Original post: http://www.outdoorhub.com/stories/joe-hosmer-sci-foundation-president-and-hunting-ambassador-to-the-world/
Bob Benson (right) and Joe Hosmer, SCIF President (left) stand at Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the SCIF American Wilderness Leadership School property.
With experience from a large list of prestigious conservation associations under his belt, Bob Benson is taking on another challenge as the Executive Director for the Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF).
First off, what is the difference between the SCIF and Safari Club International (SCI)? In the words of the new executive director himself, “as SCI advocates, lobbies, and fights to keep hunters afield, the SCI Foundation provides the scientific backing of sound wildlife research allowing for pro-hunting regulations and policies to move forward for all sportsmen and women to benefit.”
Benson was born and raised in Grove City, Pennsylvania where he hunted whitetail deer and ruffed grouse on farms and the “big woods” of the Allegheny National Forest with his father and friends. That laid the foundations of his passion for the hunting lifestyle. In 1993, he moved to Austin, Texas to began his conservation career with Bat Conservation International. He has also spent time in Germantown, Tennessee working for Ducks Unlimited.
Read Outdoor Hub’s exclusive interview with Bob Benson below to find out more about his other hobbies, his partnership initiatives with African conservation organizations and his goal of global sustainable-use programs.
Outdoor Hub: What is your background?
Bob Benson: I have a B.S. in Communication from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, with nearly 20-years of wildlife conservation experience. I’ve had a variety of positions with four well respected conservation organizations with special foci on management, leadership, development and communication work.
OH: Can you elaborate on your experience in wildlife conservation and your role at SCIF?
BB: Throughout my career I have worked to improve a wide array of habitat conservation efforts. With previous conservation organizations I have focused on bats, waterfowl, colonial waterbirds, and game birds. I have been charged to raise the financial resources necessary for all the SCI Foundation’s programs, science-based conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian efforts.
SCI Foundation’s directors are ready to expand the brand of First for Wildlife to the far corners of the hunting community, and with my experience I know I can bring consistent growth to an already large and diverse conservation organization.
OH: Outside of the organization, what are some of your pastimes/hobbies?
BB: I have a serious passion for many, many types of outdoor recreation; hunting and fishing are my true passions and are a serious reason why I moved to Texas for my career. I also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, boating, and kayaking – or as you can tell, nearly anything outdoors. My wife and I also have three golden retrievers, and they seem to enjoy the outdoors about as much as I do!
OH: What are your personal conservation beliefs and goals?
BB: I believe that the U.S.-based North American Model for Wildlife Conservation is the preeminent system for wildlife management in the world. Through the years, the SCI Foundation has worked with partner countries in southern Africa to develop a similar model that builds the conservation funding mechanism jointly with the hunting and sporting community.
The SCI Foundation annually hosts the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) and the 2012 AWCF will be held in Botswana. I believe the collaborative approach to bringing together government representatives, the professional hunter associations, the regional leaders, and conservation non-profits opens the doors to improving conservation that otherwise would never exist. SCI Foundation has truly pioneered this model and that is why they are the most respected conservation organization representing hunters in Africa today. Other organizations have never been success with such an ambitious goal of bringing so many “players” to the same meeting.
I tell you this background on the AWCF because I believe SCI Foundation will soon expand the AWCF to embrace more central, western and east African nations in its annual meeting. Secondly, the success of AWCF is not a one-off, flash in the pan. I know that SCI Foundation with our incredible staff can replicate the AWCF in other regions of the world with strong hunting cultures, including Europe, Asia, and South America.
A view of the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona, which is operated by the SCI Foundation.
OH: What initiatives will you tackle first?
BB: I will tackle strategic initiatives to continue to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of SCIF. Special focus will be placed on growing global sustainable use conservation programs through a wide array of creative development and communication strategies. I will work in concert with the board and staff to communicate why people should support the mission of SCIF.
OH: Have you participated in anything with SCI Foundation before your role as executive director there?
BB: I have not worked with SCI Foundation or SCI in the past, but with the organization’s strong presence in Texas, and around the country, I was excited to learn that I could possibly work with such a dedicated and focused organization for international conservation.
More information on the Foundation
The Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization that promotes sustainable wildlife conservation and education by focusing on the positive role of the hunter in species management. The Foundation,
- offers financial support, expertise, and a network of researchers dedicated to global sustainable-use wildlife conservation projects;
- owns and operates two educational facilities, the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, Arizona and the American Wilderness Leadership School near Jackson, Wyoming;
- and develop humanitarian initiatives through the wide array of international sportsmen and women who provide needed educational or medical supplies to economically underserved regions of the world.
Find out more from their website, www.SafariClubFoundation.org.
Or read about its conservation projects at http://FirstForWildlife.wordpress.com.
The Greatest Wildlife Recovery Story Ever Told:
How Conservation is Creating Prosperity and Stability in Rural Namibia
U.S. Congressional Briefing
Featuring Digu Naobeb. CEO of the Namibian Tourism Board, and speakers from WWF and the Safari Club International Foundation
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 – 10:00 am -11:00 am
U.S. Capitol Building
Speech, as it was prepared. It was however presented with several tangents and twists…
Good morning, my name is Joe Hosmer, and I am delighted to speak on behalf of the hunter-conservationist community today. I serve as the president of Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) and am a lifelong hunter. I am proud to be able to join the Honorable Minister and Mr. Dillon to share the story of Namibian wildlife recovery and how international hunting has been central to developing sustainable income for rural communities. SCIF commends the success of wildlife management programs in Namibia, and we are working to apply them to other countries that are struggling to modernize their own wildlife conservation policies.
First, I would like to tell you a little bit about our Foundation. Safari Club International Foundation is the charitable arm of Safari Club International. SCIF’s missions include promoting and funding wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Currently, we have over 60 ongoing conservation research projects. Over the past decade, SCIF has contributed over $50 million to advance global wildlife conservation. SCIF has worked tirelessly to increase wildlife management capabilities throughout Southern and Eastern Africa through strategic partnerships with African nations and conservation NGOs. In Namibia, for instance, SCIF is working with the government to obtain the best science available regarding the population status of leopards.
Safari Club International Foundation has also awarded multiple grants to land conservancies in Southern Africa that serve as important reserves for black rhinoceros and other wildlife. Since 2008, an increase in rhino poaching has been reported in southern Africa and SCIF has responded by providing over $80,000 to fund rangers, aircraft, trail cameras, telemetry equipment and other tools to combat the increase in poaching. Collaborative efforts among conservation organizations and the hunting industry are using hunter-generated revenue to successfully prevent poaching. Ensuring that animals harvested lawfully do not enter the illegal trade and tarnish the reputation of legitimate conservationists is a major consideration of SCIF. Poachers and smugglers should not benefit from the dedicated work of conservationists by skimming the gains made after decades of investment in conservation.
The largest of SCIF’s programs in Africa is the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF). SCIF hopes that this cooperative forum will help spread the Namibian successes in wildlife conservation to the rest of Africa. AWCF is an annual forum that convenes delegates from most of the sub-Saharan African governments for a week-long discussion on wildlife management, conservation, and hunting priorities. The forum provides an opportunity for these countries to come together to compare problems and develop common approaches to future management of their wildlife resources. Over fifty participants attended the 2011 AWCF in Swaziland. Contributors included wildlife professionals, regulatory officials, and representatives of the hunting industry. By providing the forum for wildlife professionals across Africa to discuss successful management approaches SCIF believes that best practices can be shared amongst partners and the success of sustainable-use hunting will spread across Africa.
Over the past decade, the AWCF annual meetings have included major themes in African wildlife management. Human-wildlife conflict, wildlife population management, predator-prey interactions, habitat use, hunting regulations, and anti-poaching campaigns have all been central to the Forum. Key topics at the most recent meeting included rhinoceros conservation, leopard population status, lion management. Attendees also heard reports on current policies and regulations for each country present.
One of the most critical issues addressed in the 2011 AWCF was the landmark agreement to organize and support the collection of current lion census data from all of the range state nations. The attending government entities agreed to fully cooperate to address the ambitious deadlines set for the CITES Periodic Review of the African lion. The Periodic Review will use the best science available to determine if lions are appropriately listed in the CITES Appendices.
Enhancing wildlife management in Africa is only part of the solution, and cannot succeed in a vacuum. The success of the sustainable wildlife conservation program hinges on the dedicated funding that international hunters provide to these communities. Hunting has funded the enhancement of many species around the world, including a long list we are all fond of here in North America (elk, white-tailed deer, wood duck, wild turkey, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, bison and more). It is the license fees and taxes on hunting gear that fund conservation in the United States, and international hunters provide the same steady revenue stream to African communities.
International hunting has been one of the main economic engines in rural communities. In many countries of southern Africa, agrarian or pastoral economies cannot flourish, due to limited land suitable for agriculture or grazing. In these areas, regulated hunting has been a consistent form of revenue for local communities. To take better advantage of sustainable wildlife use, many governments have begun Community Based Natural Resources Programs. These programs, in essence, devolve power from the central government so that locally created community councils can regulate and manage wildlife in their areas. Their mission is to utilize wildlife so that it remains a sustainable resource.
These communal programs have been successful because they effectively create a financial incentive for the rural communities to actively conserve wildlife. Revenue retention rules ensure that money generated from sport hunting ends up in the hands of indigenous people. In the case of international hunting in southern Africa, communities in the most rural areas of countries reap the benefit of conserving wildlife through Community Based Natural Resource Programs.
Creating this incentive to coexist with wildlife has been a central reason why so many populations of species are now thriving. The growing population of white rhino has been one of the most notable success stories. Namibia has been the leader in this area with I believe zero rhino poaching in the last two years. It is not terribly surprising that in countries like Kenya, where wildlife utilization by indigenous people is extremely limited and where hunting does not exist, wildlife population levels are now low and in continuous decline. Hunting was banned in Kenya in1977 and this ban has resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation (Baker 1997; Lewis & Jackson 2005).
SCIF’s sister organization, Safari Club International (SCI) recently held its annual Hunter’s Convention where over 2,200 outfitters came together and raised $16 million dollars, a substantial portion of which will contribute to international wildlife conservation. Many of these outfitters booked trips to Africa that will support these community based conservation programs, build value into these wildlife and support these rural economies.
I would like to leave you with just a few thoughts about how you can help. One way is to continue to fund programs such as Namibia’s LIFE program at high levels moving forward. The LIFE program is funded by USAID and has been central to building community based natural resource management in Namibia. Programs that promote sustainable-use conservation such as the LIFE program are not just aid, but an investment that helps build a self-sustaining rural economy while creating community incentives to protect these treasured species.
There Is yet another key component to the success of sustainable-use conservation where more work is needed — reducing regulatory burdens. Often times international hunters are faced with obstacles at the U.S. border. Sometimes it is a problem with bringing a favorite hunting rifle with them on their hunt. More frequently, it is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stopping a hunter from bring their legally harvested animal back in to the U.S. These barriers discourage hunters from travelling, reduce the value of overseas wildlife and take much needed dollars out of rural African communities. It is vital that the United State modernize the border process for wildlife so that millions of dollars of African conservation dollars are not lost because of over-zealous wildlife inspectors and byzantine regulations. Over the 20th Century, hunters brought back the great herds of the United States through their funding of conservation. All we ask is that the U.S. government helps hunters do the same in Africa.
Taking Action Against Rhino Poaching: The Safari Club International Foundation
by OUTDOOR HUB REPORTERS on FEBRUARY 24, 2012
submitted by: AGNIESZKA SPIESZNY - Original post.
It’s become a hot-button issue since the price of rhinoceros horn increased. Poachers are scrambling to deliver the valuable product where demand is high. The rhino was a nearly extinct species in Africa one century ago, but through intense conservation efforts its population flourished.
Now in 2012, the rhinoceros has been hunted to extinction in Vietnam and now buyers are paying a high price for the horn that they believe cures cancer. It is estimated that there is one rhino killed for its horn every 18 hours in Africa. Last year, there were almost 450 rhinos killed. That number has skyrocketed considering that there were only about 15 rhinos killed per year in previous years when the price of the horn was lower.
Safari Club International Foundation President Joe Hosmer vehemently opposes the poaching. “I believe it to be absolutely horrendous,” Hosmer said. The SCI Foundation (SCIF) is battling the issue throughout the entire African continent at the governmental level.
SCIF has an office in Pretoria, South Africa where they are able to monitor all rhino activity on a routine basis. Their main objective is to make sure each country involved knows what other countries are doing. “If there are known poachers in an area we make sure to send out a warning.”
In partnership with the Friedkin Conservation Fund, SCIF has acquired a micro-light (or ultra-light) hang-glider which runs daily patrols over thousands of acres of rhino habitat. If suspicious activity is spotted, the pilot will get GPS coordinates of the location and then a ground crew that is associated with the government will go in to investigate.
So far, with the help of SCIF, Swaziland tells one of the most successful anti-poaching stories. The country has only had three rhinos poached, but in turn has shot three poachers who opened fire on rangers who caught the three men.
Hosmer said there have been plenty more poachers already stopped, although efforts are far from over. Facilities in Zimbabwe continue to monitor a number of rhinoceros that were moved from a park to a confined area where they are physically guarded until the issue is resolved.
The issue is taken on one day at a time. Just recently rhino poaching received more national attention through a report on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams”. Below is a clip of the segment. A link to all the segments is available on Hosmer’s blog.
Original Post available here.
TESTIMONY OF THE SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
President, Safari Club International Foundation
Subcommittee for Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs;
House Natural Resources Committee
Re: HR 50 – Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011
July 28, 2011
Good morning, my name is Joe Hosmer, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the hunter-conservation community today.
The Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Since 2000, SCIF has provided in excess of $50 million in support to these causes around the world. SCIF has worked tirelessly to increase wildlife management capability throughout Southern and Eastern Africa through strategic partnerships with African nations and conservation NGOs.
Currently, SCIF participates on the steering committee of the Multinational Species Conservation Fund Coalition and SCIF has participated as a member of the Multinational Species Coalition for well over 10 years. In our current role on the coalition, we assist in providing grassroots support for the species conservation funds.
Safari Club International Foundation believes that the United States plays a pivotal role in international conservation. We further believe that the United States’ continued support for international conservation projects is necessary, both for the continued growth of wildlife populations, and for the stability of rural economies throughout many nations of Africa. For these reasons the Safari Club International Foundation strongly supports HR 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011.
As an organization, SCIF is highly committed to wildlife conservation throughout the world, but we have a particular affection and interest for African wildlife species. I would like to offer the hunting community’s perspective on the importance of investing in conservation funding internationally. There is a tremendous return on investment that rural economies realize through effective sustainable use practices for wildlife management.
SCIF’s Conservation Committee dedicates over a million dollars annually to global wildlife conservation, with a specific focus on conserving African species. SCIF’s leadership in Africa has led to the development of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which brings together African wildlife officials, representatives of the African professional hunter associations, international NGO’s and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services staff. At these meetings we have increased collaboration for sustainable use conservation programs, and we have improved relations to increase rural economic development around sustainable hunting.
Other speakers today will touch on the incredible impact that the conservation funds have made for wildlife populations. I would like to speak specifically about the impact on rural economies that sustainable use and conservation of these species can have.
The role of sport hunting today in many developing countries is vital to the very survival of communities. Using southern Africa as an example, sport hunting has been one of the main economic engines in rural communities. In many countries of southern Africa, agrarian or pastoral economies cannot flourish, due to limited land suitable for agriculture or grazing. In these areas, regulated sport hunting has been a consistent form of revenue for local communities. To take better advantage of sustainable wildlife use, many governments have begun Community Based Natural Resources Programs. These programs, in essence, devolve power from the central government so that locally created community councils can regulate and manage wildlife in their areas. Their mission is to utilize wildlife so that it remains a sustainable resource for their community.
Successful community based programs have been developed across Africa including, but not limited to, Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources, otherwise known as CAMPFIRE, in Zimbabwe; Living In a Finite Environment, known as LIFE in Namibia; and other programs in Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania.
These programs create an incentive for rural communities to actively conserve wildlife. Revenue retention schemes ensure that money generated from sport hunting ends up in the hands of indigenous people. In the case of sport hunting in southern Africa, communities in the most rural portions of countries reap the benefit of conserving wildlife through Community Based Natural Resource Programs.
Here are some facts and figures on the positive economic impact that sport hunting has in Africa.
1. International hunting by 18,500 hunters generates $200 million USD annually in remote rural areas of Africa in 23 countries. Private hunting operations conserve wildlife on 540,000 square miles, which is 22% more land mass than is found in all the national parks of Africa. (Lindsey, Conservation Biology, 2007)
2. “Hunting is of key importance to conservation in Africa by creating [financial] incentives to promote and retain wildlife as a land use over vast areas…” (National Geographic News, March, 2007)
3. In Namibia, 29 conservancies involve almost 150,000 rural individuals through trophy hunting, conservancy management or secondary industries. (Weaver, C.L. & Skyer, P. 2003.)
4. The Zambian Wildlife Authority works with safari operators to ensure that as part of their contract they must develop and manage roads, employ Zambian Professional Hunters or Apprentice Hunters, ensure that a minimum of 80% of labor comes from neighboring
communities, develop local infrastructure, notably schools, clinic and wells, and employ Zambian game scouts to manage wildlife and poaching. (Kampamba, G. 2005.)
5. International hunting employs approximately 3,700 people annually in Tanzania. (www.tanzania.go.tz/) and supports over 88,000 families (Hurt & Ravn 2000)
Particularly in Africa, creating an incentive to coexist with wildlife has been a central reason why so many populations of species are now thriving. Elephants, rhinos and lions are the best examples of this dynamic at work. Of the 23 southern African nations that have regulated hunting, an overall trend of positive species population growth has been reported. The growing population of white rhino has been one of the most notable success stories. Unsurprisingly, in countries like Kenya, where wildlife utilization by indigenous people is extremely limited and where hunting does not exist, wildlife population levels are now low and in continuous decline. Trophy hunting in Kenya was banned in 1977 and this ban has resulted in an accelerated loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation (Baker 1997; Lewis & Jackson 2005).
As an organization, SCIF has not directly utilized the funds made available through the authorizing legislation. However, organizations that SCIF has partnered with in providing matching grants have been recipients of funding from the FWS.
The investments that the U.S. government has made through the multination species conservation funds are necessary. They provide stability and continuity for ongoing wildlife conservation investments from other organizations, and from the hunters who travel to Africa. The MSCF certainly provides significant and measurable successes for a very small investment of federal dollars.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the subcommittee today.
The above testimony, from a July 28th hearing held by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, can be downloaded in full here. The Safari Club International Foundation’s press release on the hearing, released July 28th, can be downloadedhere. The Safari Club International Foundation is an ICCF Advisory Council member.
SCIF awards a large grant of $50,000 to the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust in support of the project “Kodiak Bear Density and Associated Harvet Stretegy on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska (2011-2012).” The project is considered very high priority by brown bear managers on the Kodiak Archipelago and the support provided by SCIF will be key to achievement of the research.
Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) President, Joe Hosmer, and Conservation Committee Members receive a wonderful thank you letter from the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust.
Full text please click here: SCI Foundation Letter – 6 August 2011.
For Immediate Release: July 28th, 2011
Washington, DC –Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) testified today in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee in support of H.R. 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2011 which would extend funding for important conservation projects until the year 2016.
“It was an honor to testify before the committee today, and I hope that our message was clear: that these projects are a needed investment for sustainable wildlife conservation,” said Joseph Hosmer, President of SCIF. “Support for international conservation projects is necessary for the continued growth of wildlife populations and stability of rural economies throughout many nations of Africa and Asia.”
As a result of the funding from the U.S. Congress, many grants, matching contributions, and in-kind funds have been donated to these programs from other organizations, host countries, and conservation groups. For example, as a result of the 2009 Congressional appropriation of $2 million for the African Elephant Conservation Fund, over $11.2 million in matching funds were received from outside sources and went to fund 33 African elephant projects.
Safari Club International Foundation is an international non-profit 501(c)(3). SCIF’s mission is to support and promote hunting as a major benefit for wildlife conservation and the sustainable use of wildlife and to fund and manage worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. Learn more at: www.safariclubfoundation.org.
Becoming an SCI Member
Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services. JOIN NOW: www.safariclub.org/Join.
Washington, DC – Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is honored to announce their new partnership with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF). SCIF has joined the ICCF as a member of the prestigious ICCF Conservation Council.
“SCIF is extremely excited to join as a leading partner with a foundation so completely dedicated to conservation like the ICCF,” said SCIF President Joseph Hosmer. “SCIF is proud to represent the sustainable-use community on the Conservation Council. With ICCF’s emphasis on market-based solutions to our global conservation challenges, we believe that we are natural partners to promote the sustained-use and management of natural resources.”
The ICCF Conservation Council is an association of public and private sector representatives dedicated to international conservation. Members share a common desire to implement conservation projects safeguarding wildlife and biodiversity, protecting and restoring habitats, and generating economic opportunities and social benefits for surrounding communities that are the long-term stewards of local natural resources. Through strategic affiliation, SCIF and ICCF will advance international conservation and sustainability initiatives with balanced, sustainable solutions.
Source: SCIF Press Release http://bit.ly/j5pWlB
Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services. Since 2000, SCIF has provided $47 million to these causes around the world. Visit www.safariclubfoundation.org for more.
About ICCF: The International Conservation Caucus Foundation is an international non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Inspired by the belief that conservation is a fundamental component to sustainable development, poverty alleviation, conflict avoidance, good governance, and regional security, ICCF encourages American policymakers, businesses, NGOs, and foreign governments to expand their leadership in the world to promote sound, long-term policies of sustainable land, water, and biodiversity management. Learn more at: www.iccfoundation.us.