New Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Council Formed

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In a joint press conference held on Roosevelt Island, on the Potomac River just outside of the nation's capital, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the formation of the Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council which will serve as the advisory committee to the administration to advise on policy affecting every hunter in America. Safari Club International was present for the announcement and will seek to play a significant role on the newly formed Federal Advisory Council.

The Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council is a joint advisory committee that will report directly to the Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Sam Hamilton. The Council will be comprised of 18 members and 6 ex officio members from the hunting and wildlife conservation community. Those positions are defined to include representatives of the big game hunting community, upland hunting community, waterfowl hunting community, along with representatives from hunting guides & outfitters, the firearm industry, and the archery industry. The other eight positions will be filled by representatives of various land management agencies such as US Forest Service, Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency and Bureau of Land Management.

"The announcement that Secretaries Salazar and Vilsack made takes a huge step forward in addressing the interests of the hunting community," said SCI President Larry Rudolph. "SCI has worked for decades in Washington to ensure all hunters have access to public lands for hunting and has ensured the science behind wildlife management is based on continued sustainable use. By forming the Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, this administration will be receiving direct advice from the hunting community- the same community that has been advocating for sustainable use conservation since the days of Teddy Roosevelt."

"SCI would like to thank both Secretary Salazar and Secretary Vilsack for their assistance in formalizing the Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. We look forward to working with this administration to carry forward the banner of our hunting heritage and sustainable use wildlife conservation," concluded Rudolph.

The announcement of the Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council was placed on the Federal Register on Friday, Feb. 5, 2010.