President's Message: It's Time to Unite
"He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious."—Sun Tzu
Over the past several months, your EC has worked hard to provide leadership on many challenging issues facing our organization and the broader issues of hunting and conservation. Most encouraging has been the engagement and leadership of our board members, many of whom turned out for the August Board Meetings in Tucson, Arizona, to conduct important SCI business and to show their commitment to SCI and willingness to serve its mission in the ever increasing battle to protect and expand our hunting heritage.
As many of you know, over the past several months the escalation of anti-hunting measures has reached unprecedented levels. In addition to the many formal threats we have already identified – principally US Fish and Wildlife Service shifting policy decisions from scientific based analysis to anecdotal and public opinion considerations, and the proliferation of anti-hunting ballot box initiatives – we are now witnessing unprecedented and escalated attacks on people who hunt with public torment, ridicule and personal destruction the ultimate goal. The very hunting legacy we espouse and embrace is increasingly personalized for destruction of both the hunter and the principles for which we stand. This is a new stage in the battle for our hunting freedom, and one that requires quick adaptation, flexibility and funding to combat.
Several weeks ago on CNN, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) leader Wayne Pacelle called out SCI as an elite group of trophy hunters consumed with their own interests. That we were specifically called out in national media suggests that the stakes continue to rise, and the direct efforts to accomplish our mission are going to face increasing headwinds.
The fight for our hunting freedom is on, and all of the data I see suggests continued escalation. In the matter of three short years, much of Africa has been closed to hunting, or significantly curtailed by importation restrictions to the United States.
While many of our members do not hunt in Africa, do not think for a minute that this contagion cannot spread to other areas of the globe including North America. Now, more than ever, we need to unite as hunters and volunteers for SCI. Our adversaries are many, and they have money and are active. If given a chance, they will make our hunting heritage a memory of the past. My challenge to you is to remain committed to the SCI mandate to make a difference in the future of hunting and wildlife. SCI is the best opportunity to change our future. If we are to be successful, it will happen by our passion, dedication and relentless efforts.
Working together, we will lead and make a difference for our hunting heritage.