President's Message: You Make a Difference
"Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm."—Ralph Waldo Emerson
You make a difference. Hunters have had several legislative successes this year, thanks to your individual efforts and your collective advocacy through SCI. Zambia has lifted its ban on hunting, and Michigan and Nebraska reaffirmed science-based wildlife management. Thank you for everything you've done.
When the ban in Zambia was initiated in 2013, SCI and SCI Foundation immediately met with Zambian government officials and educated them on the commitment of hunters and the use of conservation to benefit Zambia and its wildlife. We maintained that the ban was counter-productive, and that regulated, sustainable hunting gives additional value to wildlife and ensures that Zambia has the necessary resources for wildlife management.
That ban was lifted this year, and Zambia should be commended for that. Now it's time to allocate the hunting areas, and get professional safari operators back in the bush to realize that wildlife value and where they serve as the front line of defense against poachers.
In Michigan, out-of-state anti-hunting groups launched two referendum drives seeking to overrule Michigan's wildlife biologists on game management decisions. When issues get on statewide ballots, it's just a matter of spending millions of dollars in misleading advertising to win, and with the antis' deep pockets, this had to be stopped.
Your calls and letters to representatives in Michigan resulted in a bipartisan effort passing the citizen-initiatedScientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA), which is now law. SFWCA ensures that decisions affecting the taking of fish and game are made using principles of sound wildlife management instead of mob rule.
In Nebraska, your calls and letters to Governor Dave Heineman resulted in his vetoing LB 671, a bill that would outlaw mountain lion hunting and eliminate the science-based management of mountain lions in Nebraska. Governor Heineman acknowledged that Nebraskans expect responsible wildlife management and that LB 671 eliminated a very important tool to accomplish it. Without your phone calls and support, LB 671 might have been signed into law.
We have accomplished much, but we cannot rest on our laurels. As they tried in Nebraska with mountain lion, the antis are trying, through a statewide ballot petition, to ban the most common forms of bear hunting in Maine.
Professional biologists continue to manage Maine's bear population with their nationally recognized bear management program, and without bear hunting, it will become much more difficult for Maine to manage its bear population to a level consistent with the public goals and objectives. SCI encourages all Maine voters to oppose the anti-backed referendum and to vote NO on the Maine Bear Hunting Ban Initiative during the November 4th election.
SCI is the leading worldwide advocate for hunters' rights and protector of our hunting heritage. It is through your support and your votes, calls and letters that we are able to make that claim, and show the results to back it up.
Working together, we will lead and make a difference for our hunting heritage.