Conservation Force is first and foremost a wildlife conservation organization. I mean a real conservation organization, not a token or feigned one. We don’t hold social meetings or conventions, publish magazines with hunting stories or maintain record books, but what we do is critically necessary for all those activities to continue. Even when I was leading SCI, my focus was the conservation and related governmental affairs activities, as were my wife Chrissie’s activities in Sables.
Hunting and fishing are two of the most powerful tools to get people to care about wildlife conservation. Not just people like you and me, but also the local people who will ultimately determine the survival of the wildlife and wild places we care about. A recent study of the leading NGOs documented that Conservation Force was the most active hunter-supported organization in Africa from 2004 through 2006. Being a conservation leader is more than the smart and wide expenditure of funds. It requires participation with local people and governing authorities, as well as the respective scientific community. To do that we attend dozens of workshops, meetings, conferences and conventions, networking on your behalf to address short and long-term issues with a broad array of scientists and experts, and to chart the course for the future.
In the last few months, Shane Mahoney and I participated in the White House Conference to implement President Bush’s Executive Order to Facilitate Hunting Heritage and Conservation, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) annual conference, the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) meeting and phone conferences, and much more. We sent Dr. Hank Jenkins to the CITES workshop on making non-detriment determinations in Mexico. And Board Member Dr. Philippe Chardonnet, along with Mahoney and I, also attended the 4th World Congress of IUCN in Barcelona.
In November, Mahoney also represented Conservation Force at The Wildlife Society’s annual meeting and at the annual meetings of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa and Namibian Professional Hunters Association. We also serve or head committees and boards around the globe, from co-chairing the Antelope Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN to holding both the presidency and vice presidency of the Sustainable Use Commission of the International Council of Game and Wildlife Management (CIC).
Wildlife and wild places today don’t exist by accident. We are there to be a force for their survival. It is not simply a biological issue. The welfare of rural people is integral and inseparable, so we are deep into rural community natural resource-based wildlife management programs around the globe. Of course, we have a love for and relationship with the people as well as their wildlife and wild places. Our projects span from tribal areas in Pakistan to communal conservancies in Namibia. We serve on the Rural Livelihoods Working Group of the CITES Standing Committee and are proud to represent most of the Nunavut communities in the polar bear listing litigation. We are leaders in cutting- edge projects and programs. From design and conceptualization to proactive implementation, Conservation Force is leading the way with innumerable esteemed partners.
Believe me; what we do is important and serves your interests. It is that time of year to ask for your support. Contribute to a trusted organization where you know your donation will really count. Please make a tax-deductible contribution by mail to Conservation Force, PO Box 278, Metairie, LA 70004-0278; or by credit card at http://www.conservationforce.org/donate.html. You will receive a timely acknowledgment. Thanks for caring.