CALIFORNIA SEEKS TO BAN LEGALLY HUNTED GAME IMPORTS

HSC was part of a nationwide effort to encourage all U.S. Governors to keep hunting seasons and access to land available in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. The letter also offered ideas for maintaining safe and appUnder the pretense of limiting the spread of wildlife-based diseases, the California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water recently approved legislation that would prohibit hunters in California from importing and possessing legally hunted African wildlife. SB 1175, “Animals: Prohibitions on Importation and Possession of Wild Animals: Live Animal Markets.” The bill will now proceed to the Senate for further debate. A well thought out opposition statement was provided to the committee by Catherine E. Semcer, Research Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center and African Wildlife Economy Institute. Read her letter here.

SECRETARY BERNHARDT PROPOSES HISTORIC EXPANSION OF HUNTING & FISHING OPPORTUNITIESAMERICA’S CONSERVATION ENHANCEMENT ACT AND GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOORS ACTSECRETARY BERNHARDT PROPOSES HISTORIC EXPANSION OF HUNTING & FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

HSC joined other organizations in support of America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act and the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The Great American Outdoor Act, S. 3422, will provide improved access by funding the backlog of federal maintenance for roads, trails, piers, campsites, parking lots, boat ramps, and other recreational infrastructure. The ACE Act, H.R. 925, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent, includes high-priority conservation provisions that will leverage public and private funding as well as lead to significant job creation. Read the letter here.

LETTER TO POTUS RE: PEBBLE MINE IN ALASKA

HSC in partnership with other organizations submitted a letter to President Trump to request the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) deny issuance of a Clean Water Act (CWA) 404 permit for the proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The rivers downstream from the proposed Pebble mine and its infrastructure are some of the most treasured fishing and hunting resources in the world. Pebble’s impact would cause massive harm to fish, wetlands and water and recreation businesses. Read the letter here.

FIXING AMERICA’S SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ACT AND WILDLIFE MIGRATION CORRIDORS

HSC joined other peer organizations to provide comment on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. Commentary was provided to members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee encouraging the committee to include funding authorization for wildlife crossings and policy direction for state transportation plans to prioritize wildlife habitat connectivity. Read the letter here.


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.

U.S. GOVERNORS ENCOURAGED TO KEEP HUNTING OPEN IN FACE OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

HSC was part of a nationwide effort to encourage all U.S. Governors to keep hunting seasons and access to land available in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. The letter also offered ideas for maintaining safe and appropriate access to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full letter here. 

SECRETARY BERNHARDT PROPOSES HISTORIC EXPANSION OF HUNTING & FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced a historic proposal for new and expanded hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 97 national wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries. This proposed rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in history. HSC participated in a call to announce the plan launch with the Secretary. Read the full story here.

COURTS ORDER NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME TO RELEASE CUSTOMER NAMES AND EMAIL ADDRESS

A First Judicial District Court judge ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to release the names and addresses of all successful big-game applicants for the years 2015 through April 23, 2019. Additionally, the New Mexico Court of Appeals ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to release the email addresses of individuals who applied for state hunting licenses for the years 2015 through 2016. These actions set a dangerous precedent and vulnerability for hunting license holder information to be released to anti-hunting groups. Read the full story here.

FEDERAL LAND HUNTING, FISHING AND SHOOTING SPORTS ROUNDTABLE COMMENTS ON THE TONTO NATIONAL FOREST DRAFT LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN

HSC joined other peer organizations to comment on the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) draft land management plan for the Tonto National Forest (TNF) covering over 2.9 million acres in central Arizona that among many uses of the federal public lands, addresses future management of hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. Topics specifically covered planning and implementing mutually beneficial projects and activities related to hunting, fishing, and the shooting sports conducted on federal lands. Read the full letter here. 

COVID-19: HOLISTIC, EQUITABLE SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE HUMAN AND PLANETARY HEALTH AND REDUCE ZOONOTIC PANDEMIC RISKS

HSC, along with 135 other organizations, presented an open letter to the World Health Organization and United Nations Environment Program. This letter addressed the COVID-19 pandemic effect on social and economic costs on countries, illegal wildlife trade and consumption, and the effects on wildlife welfare. Read the full letter here.


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.

We are indeed experiencing challenging and unprecedented times. Houston Safari Club is with you. This message is being sent with the hope that you, your family and friends are all healthy. With the announcement this week by President Trump to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April, we know a lot of you are shrugging your shoulders and asking, “When will life return to normal?” The next 30 days will be pivotal in managing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Luckily, as hunters, many of you are stocked with wild game from the “grocery store shelves of the wild”. In addition, as hunters, you are already well versed in existing under adverse conditions and “social distancing”, having spent time on the water and afield for many years. Hunters know how to implement the “adapt, improvise, overcome” approach in their daily lives.

HSC continues to function under these challenging conditions. We are working with our exhibitor and outfitter partners to communicate travel conditions to you and assisting them in planning for business continuation after this pandemic. One thing to keep in mind – if you can reschedule your planned trips, rather than cancel them, your PH or outfitter would be greatly appreciative. Support of conservation through hunting is now more critical than ever.

We are continuing to push forward – we are just doing so in a modified manner. Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.

Thank you for your continued support of Houston Safari Club. If we may be of service, in any way, please let us know. Stay safe, stay healthy and in the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill -“Never give in. Never, never, never.”

Thank you,
JD Burrows, President, HSCF
Joe Betar, Executive Director, HSCF


AWCP Letter on Great American Outdoors Act READ HERE

Tonto NF Draft Forest Plan READ HERE


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.

H.R. 3742: RECOVERING AMERICA’S WILDLIFE ACT

This critical bipartisan legislation now has 250 sponsors and is being presented to House leadership. This legislation establishes a 21st Century funding model for the proactive conservation of fish and wildlife. This legislation redirects $1.3 billion annually in existing revenues to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-driven wildlife action plans, and an additional $97.5 million to tribal wildlife managers to conserve species on tribal lands and waters. This funding will ensure those with a proven track record of success in species conservation and recovery can proactively conserve at-risk fish and wildlife in a voluntary, non-regulatory manner.

H.R. 925, AMERICA’S CONSERVATION ENHANCEMENT ACT

HSC joined many other hunting and conservation organizations in submitting a letter to the U.S House of Representatives encouraging their support of America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, and to urge its approval by the House of Representatives as reported by the Senate. H.R. 925 includes high-priority conservation provisions and its passage by unanimous consent in the Senate on January 9th, 2020, marks a significant step forward in addressing growing challenges to species and habitat health. Final passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act by the House will not only have wide-ranging ecological impacts but will facilitate enhanced wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation by millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come.

BERING/MARTIN RIVER INHOLDING ACQUISITION IN COPPER RIVER DELTA, CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST

HSCF, in alignment with several other conservation organizations, expressed support to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council’s willingness to consider and negotiate a purchase offer with the Korea Alaska Development Corporation for their Bering River inholding in the Chugach National Forest’s Copper River Delta region. The consortium supports the U.S. Forest Service’s management plan for the Copper River Delta and encouraged the EVOS Trustee Council to pursue acquiring, retiring and conserving the Korea Alaska Development Corporation inholding through obligating some portion of the remaining habitat conservation account for that mission. Read the full letter here.

INSIGHT PROVIDED TO CONSIDERED IMPORT BAN BY THE UNITED KINGDOM

HSCF, as an active member of American Wildlife Conservation Partners, submitted a letter to the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Rt. Hon. Lord Zacharias Goldsmith, Minister of State, providing consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies and a call for evidence on the scale and impacts of the import and export of hunting trophies. The consultation’s summary outlined that hunting incentivizes wildlife conservation and provides significant funding to protect wildlife and habitat. Hunting is a key component to managing the balance between invariable human population growth and the resulting wildlife habitat decline. Hunting also encourages private investment in wildlife conservation in developing countries. Read the full letter here.

OPPOSITION TO HB 5104 PROHIBITING THE IMPORT, SALE AND POSSESSION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS, LIONS, LEOPARDS, BLACK RHINOCEROS, WHITE RHINOCEROS AND GIRAFFES

HSCF, in alignment with 17 other organizations, expressed a unified opposition to HB 5104 and petitioned the Members of the Joint Committee on Environment to join them in opposing this bill. This legislation that would prohibit the import, sale, and possession of items from legally hunted African species. The position of the group is anchored on the basis that discouraging hunting in Africa encourages poaching, stymies the anti-poaching programs legally regulated hunting supports, causes detrimental effects on wildlife conservation, and has a negative financial impact on rural communities reliant on hunting-related tourism dollars. In addition, the legislation disregards decades of scientific research which compiled by wildlife experts in both Africa and by the U.S. Government and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Further the group establishes that this legislation would be preempted by section 6(f) of the Endangered Species Act. Read the full letter here.


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.

H.R. 3742: RECOVERING AMERICA’S WILDLIFE ACT

This critical bipartisan legislation continues to gain momentum. The more sponsors, the better. Reach out to your Representatives and Senators and encourage them to cosponsor now! This legislation establishes a 21st Century funding model for the proactive conservation of fish and wildlife. This legislation redirects $1.3 billion annually in existing revenues to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-driven wildlife action plans, and an additional $97.5 million to tribal wildlife managers to conserve species on tribal lands and waters. This funding will ensure those with a proven track record of success in species conservation and recovery can proactively conserve at-risk fish and wildlife in a voluntary, non-regulatory manner. To date, there are 157 cosponsors.

H.R. 925, AMERICA’S CONSERVATION ENHANCEMENT ACT

HSC joined many other hunting and conservation organizations in submitting a letter to the U.S House of Representatives encouraging their support of America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, and to urge its approval by the House of Representatives as reported by the Senate. H.R. 925 includes high-priority conservation provisions and its passage by unanimous consent in the Senate on January 9th, 2020, marks a significant step forward in addressing growing challenges to species and habitat health. Final passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act by the House will not only have wide-ranging ecological impacts but will facilitate enhanced wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation by millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come.

NEVADA TEST AND TRAINING RANGE/DESERT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

HSCF, as an active member of American Wildlife Conservation Partners, submitted a letter to Robert Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Department of the Interior, seeking a discussion and delay on the proposed expansion of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR). The proposed expansion by the U.S., Air Force would result in the largest loss to the Refuge System in history and remove jurisdiction for the area away from the Fish and Wildlife Service. An excerpt from this correspondence states, “DNWR supports hunting and habitat for desert bighorn sheep. Access for both purposes will be reduced, lost, and further complicated if the proposed expansion proceeds. Even under the current withdrawal of half of the area of DNWR, established in FY2000, access is very difficult, conservation work is needlessly hindered, and basic commitments to cooperative management between the Departments of Defense and Interior have not been kept. This is contrary to the terms of the original withdrawal, which maintained primary jurisdiction for the Service and directed cooperative management with the Air Force. The disregard for the intended arrangement also limits the State of Nevada’s ability to manage state trust species. A written agreement on coordination that was required by the original withdrawal has never been reached and this continues to limit on the ground conservation work and challenge all parties”. The summary request of this correspondence notes the ask that the Department insist on a commitment by the Air Force to fulfill the requirements of, the original withdrawal, abandon the idea of assumed jurisdiction, actively incorporate stakeholder suggestions, and find real solutions to co-managing withdrawn portions of the DNWR in conjunction with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Nevada, key stakeholders, and the public. This will ensure an effective and appropriate scheduling for military training, refuge management, and public access on the DNWR. This would incorporate into readiness the sustainability of bighorn sheep populations, water developments, habitat management activities, and hunting and other forms of recreation.

FEDERAL LAND TRANSACTION FACILITATION ACT (FLTFA)

HSCF, in tandem with fifty (50) other constituents of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, is encouraging David Bernhardt, Secretary of Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior, to immediately implement the now-permanently reauthorized Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). The FLTFA will facilitate modified land exchanges to protect our nation’s lands and increase public access and recreation. FLTFA facilitates strategic federal land sales by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide funding for high-priority land conservation within or adjacent to federal lands in the eleven contiguous western states and Alaska. Under FLTFA, the revenue generated from BLM land sales must be deposited into the Federal Land Disposal Account, as opposed to the U.S. Treasury, to allow BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pursue land conservation projects that increase public access for outdoor recreation, hunting, and fishing; conserve wildlife habitat; protect water quality; and preserve historic and cultural resources. Furthermore, BLM will have additional funding to conduct sales and other administrative real estate work, increasing staff capacity. Once fully operational, these FLTFA land sales and acquisitions will again provide a critical tool for consolidating private and public land ownership, allowing for more efficient land management and expanded business operations. happen, the BLM—working with its partner agencies—must fully implement the law, beginning with finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between these agencies. The updates to the MOU must recognize the new provisions in the law that make certain recreation and other lands eligible under FLTFA, among other changes. The group is asking that Secretary Bernhardt to work with the agencies to make the program more efficient, including delegating signature authority for land acquisition decisions to below the Secretary’s office, to at least agency heads or division chiefs.

Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.