More Than 100 Safari Club Members Visit Capitol Hill

Over 100 Safari Club International (SCI) members met with Members of Congress on the Hill last week in conjunction with SCI's annual May Board meeting in Washington, DC.

SCI's advocacy focused on a number of key legislative priorities including several regulatory issues, federal plans that affect management, conservation and hunting access on public lands-in particular the federal management of the polar bear.

“SCI, the leader in protecting and expanding the freedom to hunt, is engaged in advocacy on both the state and federal levels. It is important that our members' voices be heard at the federal legislative level on issues that affect the SCI community,” said SCI President Merle Shepard.

“SCI has been a strong advocate for protecting recreational access to our public lands for families and sportsmen throughout the country. Their members understand the important balance of making land use compatible with conservation,” said Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash). “As Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, I look forward to working with SCI to promote land access, wildlife conservation and the need to restore Americans' Second Amendment rights in national parks.”

SCI's “Lobby Day” begins with a breakfast briefing from congressional leaders. Ranking Member Hastings was joined at the SCI Congressional Breakfast Briefing by Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR) who is Vice Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus for the House of Representatives and freshman Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA).

After the briefing, SCI members dispersed to meetings in all corners of the Capitol complex. They discussed the organization's accomplishments and goals not only in government affairs, but also in conservation efforts and humanitarian activities. SCI and Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) fund, support, and manage worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services.


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More Than 100 Safari Club Members Visit Capitol Hill

The FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation and research foundation of the American Sportfishing Association, said that grant monies for marine and anadromous sportfish habitat restoration are available for projects in the coastal United States, the Great Lakes region and the U.S. Caribbean territories.

These grants will be awarded to community-based, on-the-ground projects to restore marine, estuarine and riparian habitats, including salt marshes, mangrove forests and freshwater habitats important to anadromous fish species such as salmon and striped bass that spawn in freshwater and migrate to the sea. Projects in the Great Lakes must restore habitat for diadromous sportfish such as lake sturgeon, walleye and brook trout in the Great Lakes and applicable tributaries.

The FishAmerica Foundation will accept grant proposals up through June 22, 2009. Grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded in October 2009. Eligible applicants include community-based nonprofit organizations, such as local sporting clubs and conservation associations, as well as state and local agencies. Applicants are encouraged to partner with NOAA staff in order to strengthen the development and implementation of sound restoration projects. The announcement and full grant package are available

Nearly $280,000 recently awarded through NOAA partnership
In April 2009 FishAmerica and the NOAA Restoration Center announced grants awards totaling nearly $280,000 for fisheries habitat restoration projects in nine communities across seven states. Local communities have leveraged an additional $2.7 million in funds to invest nearly $3 million to restore fisheries habitat that is critical for marine and anadromous sportfish.

The projects range from wetland fisheries habitat restoration in Massachusetts to improving fish habitat along coastal Mississippi to restoring water quality and fish habitat in the Columbia River Basin of Idaho. Over the course of the projects, volunteers will spend nearly 5,000 hours restoring sportfish spawning and rearing habitat, improve water quality and improve fish passage for salmon, striped bass, bluefish, snook, tarpon, redfish, and other sportfish.

“These local, community-based projects will improve fishing for the nation's 37 million coastal and Great Lakes anglers,” said Johanna Laderman, FishAmerica's executive director. “For more than 10 years, FishAmerica has worked closely with NOAA and our partners in the sportfishing and boating industry to ensure the future of recreational fisheries in the United States.”

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