The attorneys of Safari Club International's Litigation Department work to promote and preserve hunting and sustainable use conservation in courts throughout the country. SCI is unique among hunting organizations for having an in-house team of lawyers dedicated to hunting and wildlife conservation-based litigation.

SCI has litigated over 50 cases throughout the United States involving numerous domestic and international hunting-related issues. SCI’s lawyers have filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court five times, involving (1) the possible criminalization of hunting videos, (2) the Second Amendment, (3) roads for wildlife and hunting, (4) states' authority to regulate navigable waters within National Preserves, and (5) authority to hunt three antelope species. SCI lawyers also prepare comments on SCI’s behalf in response to public input opportunities regarding federal and state actions, regulations and policies.

Each year at the SCI Convention, SCI attorneys and other guest leaders in the fields of hunting, firearms, wildlife conservation and importation present a highly rated continuing legal education course for lawyers.

Current Litigation

  • Defense of Delisting of the Yellowstone Area Grizzly Bears (various plaintiffs v U.S. FWS)

  • Elephant Importation Bans Challenge (SCI v. Zinke)

  • Western Great Lakes Wolf Delisting Challenge (HSUS v. Zinke)

  • Lead Ammunition in Kaibab National Forest (CBD v. U.S. Forest Service)

  • Grand Teton National Park Elk Hunt (Mayo v. Jarvis; Sierra Club v. Zinke)

  • NPS Regulations in Alaska (Sturgeon v. Masica)

  • Revisions to the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Rule (SCI v. Zinke)

  • New Mexico’s Mexican Wolf (New Mexico v. Zinke)

  • McKittrick Policy (WildEarth Guardians v. DOJ)

  • Kaibab National Forest Travel Management Plan (WildEarth Guardians v. Provencio)

  • FOIA Demand for Information About Trophy Importers (HSI v. FWS; CBD v. FWS)

  • Challenge to FWS and NPS Alaska Hunting Regulations (SCI v. Zinke)

(As of December 2017)
*Note:  all the cases in which current Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is a named party were brought against Sally Jewell, the Secretary under the Obama Administration. Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Secretary Zinke is automatically substituted for former Secretary Jewell.

Recently Closed Litigation

  • Three Antelope Case

  • Wyoming Wolf Delisting Challenges (Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke; HSUS v. U.S. FWS)

  • Big Cypress ORV/Wilderness Plan (NPCA et al. v. DOI et al.)

  • California’s Ban on Importation of Mountain Lion Trophies (SCI v. Becerra)

Alerts on Current Litigation

SCI: First, Forever In Fight To Take Wolves Off Endangered List

Aug 02, 2017
Safari Club International leads from the front when it comes to protecting the freedom to hunt. Unlike other groups who long ago abandoned the battle, SCI has fought in lawsuit after lawsuit to defend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regulations to delist recovered wolf populations. And unlike some groups who have only recently joined the war, SCI has been fighting for wolf delisting since the very beginning – from as early as 2003 when the FWS first issued a rule to downlist gray wolves from endangered to threatened status.
Full story

SCI and NRA Move to Defend Hunting Methods on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

May 09, 2017
After the previous Administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) adopted a regulation prohibiting certain hunting methods (e.g., hunting bear over bait) on National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in Alaska, Congress and the President said “not so fast.” Using the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed and the President signed a “Joint Resolution” nullifying the FWS’s regulation. Hunters can once again use the state-authorized hunting methods.
Full story

Mexican Wolves—Front and Center in Court

May 01, 2017
On April 25, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision issued a few months ago by a New Mexico federal district court in a case filed by the State of New Mexico against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The appellate court reversed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction that temporarily prevented the FWS from releasing wolves into New Mexico without the state's permission. SCI filed an amicus brief in that case in support of New Mexico.
Full story

CBD Files Suit to Challenge the Congressional Review Act and Undermine Alaska’s Wildlife Management

Apr 21, 2017
On April 20, 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA gives Congress authority to review and nullify federal regulations with which Congress does not agree within a 60-day period after the rules are finalized.
Full story

Litigation Newsletter Archive

Access the Litigation Newsletter Archive HERE.