Conservation Force was ten years old in September; ten years from its formal incorporation. It was initially formed by hunting leaders at the request of others in the community. Since that time it has expended approximately 12 million dollars on the ground in “smart” wildlife and habitat projects, and its volunteers and directors have donated another 5 million dollars in expert legal and biological services. It has come to be supported by approximately 125 supporting organizations, foundations and also networks with hundreds of others around the globe. It has offices in Metairie, Louisiana; Paris, France; College Town, Texas; in Newfoundland; and in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has officers and directors that serve on all the most relevant organizations in the world, from IUCN’s specialist groups to CIC in Budapest. Present species projects span the globe, from markhor in Pakistan to polar bear in the Arctic.
Its advocacy highlights range from the defeat of the CITES listing proposal of urial and the ESA listing proposal of the Peninsula population of desert sheep in Baja to the defeat of the HSUS and Fund for Animal suit to ban the importation of argali trophies. Its educational materials have included everything from posters and bumper stickers on America’s Abundant Wildlife and Hunters Pay for Most Conservation, to the Chardonnet African Lion Study to Whitman and Packer’s Guideline to Aging African Lion in Southern and Eastern Africa. It has partnerships with organizations as diverse as WWF and WCS, and its leaders serve on dozens of committees and boards around the globe.
Time has proven Conservation Force to be one of the most direct, efficient and effective means for sportsmen and women to further their interests. It is time for a special thanks to all the individuals and organizations that have trusted and invested in the Force.
The World Conservation Force Bulletin started before Conservation Force did. The first bulletin was issued January, 1997 - Volume 1, Number 1. That initial issue covered eight topics, including the new law prohibiting firearms and ammunition possession by any person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, another explaining ballot referendums and initiatives, the truth behind the movie The Ghost and the Darkness, an announcement that Ducks Unlimited had exceeded the $1 billion dollar mark for conservation, Defenders of Wildlife was circulating a petition to reintroduce wolves in the Adirondacks, the IUCN had rejected the membership of IFAW - which then lost its membership appeal, CITES had proposed listing all urial, and more.
All of the issues in that first Bulletin are still relevant today, particularly one I’ve not yet mentioned entitled Polar Bear Sport Hunting Regulations Coming Soon. That first issue of the Bulletin was the eve of the publication of the polar bear regulations that would soon permit importation of polar bear by US hunters for the first time in a quarter of a century. Read on about that and other issues first covered in this Bulletin that are now coming to a head.