Safari Club International attended the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Sportsman’s Access Ramp Up Summit in Washington, D.C. on August 2, 2017. SCI, together with 46 other hunting, state management agency, shooting, fishing, boating and industry groups, met to discuss problems and solutions for improved access to the nation’s hunting, fishing, shooting, and boating opportunities.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Greg Sheehan led the summit. U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed the attendees and later hosted a reception for invitees in his office at the end of the day. Recently confirmed Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt spoke to the group and remained to listen to some of the group discussions. Several representatives of the Department of the Interior, FWS, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management attended and participated in the discussions.
After the opening remarks, attendees divided into groups to address a variety of access-based issues, including access to recreational opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges, other federal lands (National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), private lands, and bodies of water. The groups also addressed issues specific to increased access for new participants and individuals with impaired abilities. The day ended with the individual groups reassembling and sharing possible solutions to some of the most challenging problems.
SCI was honored to be invited to participate in this significant event and has confidence that the DOI and its agencies will follow through with many of the suggestions offered by attendees. We thank Secretary Zinke, Deputy Secretary Bernhardt and Acting Director Sheehan for their work and for reaching out to the sportsmen’s community to collaborate on finding solutions to access-related problems. SCI looks forward to working with the Department and all its agencies on finding solutions to other key problems that face the hunting community.