Written by John Sturgeon
As President of Safari Club International Alaska, I’d like to respond to some of the claims made in an opinion piece at Alaska must read From 27 April 2022 entitled “Fritz Pettijohn: Sarah Palin, Trump and Alaska land. I have found that a number of the points raised by the author are not only problematic, but completely wrong and inaccurate.
To be clear, Safari Club International and SCI Alaska’s Chapter support hunting and fishing for everyone. We understand the value in hunting and conservation and how they go hand in hand. Safari Club International’s motto is “First for Hunters” and we’re definitely talking.
Describing Safari Club International as “rich bounty hunters” is an absolute mistake. The vast majority of members are regular fishermen who love the outdoors and want to provide food for themselves and their families. They cherish the time they spend in the field with friends and family who make memories that will last a lifetime. Safari Club International’s goal is to enable them to do just that, and here’s how to do it.
The International Safari Club defends the rights of fishermen in Juneau and Washington. With the constant attacks on our hunting traditions, this is a full time job.
The International Safari Club is the first of its kind to educate young people in the sport of hunting and shooting. We sponsor Wilderness Leadership Scholarships for Teachers and award Scholarships for outdoor jobs. We sponsor many youth shooting programs.
Safari Club International is proud of our hunting programs for wounded warriors. Each year we contribute more than $40,000 to various hunting programs for our veterans. Each year, the state grants six special moose hunting licenses to Purple Heart recipients. Safari Club International Alaska sponsors all six of these veterans including transportation, licenses, labeling, meat processing and meat shipping.
Finally, we support Fish and Game’s efforts to manage Alaskan wildlife. In 2022, Safari Club International Alaska wrote a management check for over $300,000. When you match the federal grant money, the department has more than $1.2 million to help manage Alaska’s prized wildlife.
I hope that next time Mr. Pettyjohn does his homework before he mischaracterizes Safari Club International’s membership and its goals. SCI remains “first for hunters”.
John Sturgeon is the president of Safari Club International Alaska.