20080113_sci

Tucson, Arizona – Safari Club International (SCI) congratulated the voters of Alaska for defeating Measure 2 on their August 26 primary ballot. Measure 2, defeated by a 55% to 44% margin, would have limited the state’s authority to manage predator populations that threaten the state’s wildlife, livestock and even pets.

“The true winner in this vote was Alaska’s wildlife,” said SCI president Merle Shepard. “Anti-hunting organizations that ignore science-based conservation should take a lesson from the defeat that Alaskan voters have dealt to them. It’s time for the animal-rights groups to try to understand, once and for all, that Alaska’s professional biologists at the Department of Fish and Game are best qualified to manage the state’s wildlife.”

SCI’s Alaska Chapter president, Eddie Grasser added, “The misinformation spread by the proponents of this ballot initiative was amazing, but not surprising considering these individuals are not Alaskans and do not understand Alaska’s wildlife and ecology.  Many organizations rallied together to ensure that Alaskan wildlife management remained the prerogative of the state Department of Fish and Game – not out-of-state extremist groups.”

The local organization leading this campaign to victory was Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management, whose leadership throughout a difficult and contentious campaign truly paid off. The SCI Alaska Chapter and the SCI Kenai Peninsula Chapter generously donated both time and considerable financial resources to guarantee that the ballot initiative and the anti-hunting organizations were finally defeated.

“This should be a lesson to the animal-rights extremists,” concluded Shepard. “They may think the politics of this state are changing – but the truth behind science-based conservation never will.”

SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s 188 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 18 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org <http://www.safariclub.org/> or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.