The Montana Chapter of Safari Club International has worked with a variety of organizations and funded many projects in Montana. Thousands of man-hours of volunteer time was spent by Chapter members assisting our community and with activities that benefit wildlife and the hunting community.
Each SCI Chapter throughout the world is undertakes projects in the following three areas. If you have any good ideas for projects, don’t keep them a secret. Contact us, call a board member, or bring the thought to a Board meeting.
Community Service Each year for nearly a decade, the Billings Gazette and the Montana Chapter of SCI sponsor has Sportsman Against Hunger which benefits the people in Montana who need food. Annually, hunters donate thousands of pounds of wild game meat to worthy organizations. But we have also undertaken many other projects, including working with the internationally acclaimed Wheelchair Foundation, funded by Mr. Ken Behring, and SCI – Tucson’s International program SafariCare, As a community of people who care about our community, we are always open to projects and ideas that will benefit the service region of eastern Montana and northern Wyoming . We want this to be the best possible place for everyone to live, including those who do not or cannot get outdoors or enjoy hunting.
Since SCI is an organization of international scope and service, the Montana Chapter has also provided money for medicines and medical supplies to provide health care to children in the Mazabuka, Kafue and Siavonga districts of southern Zambia.
Education Traditionally, the Montana Chapter has sponsored both students and teachers who attend a one week session at the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson , Wyoming . Without exception, every attendee has said this was a most exciting, fun and worthwhile experience. Last year, the Montana Chapter purchased all of the clay pigeons and other items for use at the school. There are academic lectures, and field trips covering Rocky Mountain wildlife, environmental ethics, natural resource conservation and management. Attendees meet experts in major fields, view current trends, are exposed to Project WILD (k-12 interdisciplinary curriculum and conservation program emphasizing wildlife.) In addition, they get to try their hand at plant identification, maps, camping, firearms, fly tying, survival techniques, white-water rafting and rock climbing. So, if anyone knows of a teacher(s) or knows of a student(s) that would be interested in attending in the summer of 2006, please contact any Board member for more information.
Wildlife Conservation Recently, the Board approved an expenditure of $4000 to assist the MT Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 5 Law Enforcement. This will purchase one mechanical deer and at least 5 digital cameras and 5 tape recorders for use in anti-poaching programs. Chief Game Warden Kevin Holland explained the importance of the equipment needed, addressed questions about Department budgeting and problems detected in the Region. It goes without saying poachers are violators of the laws -game thieves – who do not represent to the ethics of SCI sportsmen and sportswomen.
By far, most of the money raised at fund-raisers in Montana stays in Montana. The following is a partial list of projects that have benefited from sportsman’s dollars and volunteer time:
- The Montana Heritage Defense Fund (a non-profit houndsman organization)
- The Save Alaskan Hunting Heritage (a non-profit fighting to keep hunting available in Alaska)
- The Brown Bear Trust (Part of a program to acquire critical habitat in the Karlut & Sturgeon River areas on Kodiak Island)
- Montana Guides and Outfitters, “Kid fitter Program ” (a program that enables kids to be outdoors)
- National Rifle Association (Endowment for Youth in Montana)
- John Schlat Foundation (purchased hunting vests for all young hunters graduating the Montana Hunter Education Course)
- SafariCare (brought wheel chairs to the needy in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in Billings, Red Lodge, Hardin, Crow Agency, and Lame Deer)
- Sportsman Against Hunger (In one year alone, provided more than 80,000 meals to those in need)
- Have helped the Billings Food Bank, MontanaRescue Mission, Lame Deer and Hardin Food Banks
- American Wilderness Leadership School in Jackson Hole Wyoming sponsor a total of 2-5 students/teacher per year provide funds for capital improvements at the school, provided sporting clays, tools and needed equipment