For the past few years, DSC has been examining its long-range strategic plan for continued, measured growth and development, and has established many important steps and benchmarks to hit in 2016 and the coming years. One of the first tasks was to refine the mission statement and draft a vision statement as well. (See box.)
These words are not all that different from the previous mission statement. Staying focused on specific targets will keep the organization from getting bogged down in controversy or unrelated politics. As a result of strategic partnerships in conservation in Africa, Canada, Europe and around the world, DSC already has boots on the ground in the right places to do the work before us.
In 2015, DSC was admitted to the IUCN − an important step in its status as a world leader in wildlife conservation and sustainable use. The Wild Harvest initiative through Conservation Visions began, with DSC as the first supporter and donor. This study will collect important data on wild meat consumption in the U.S. and Canada in the effort to show the nutritional impact of modern-day hunting.
A chapter network was formed and two new chapters accepted – the Lubbock Sportsmen’s Club and DSC Northeast. Information on chapter formation is available on www.biggame.org/chapter. During recent meetings in Africa with PHASA and NAPHA, not only were there important discussions about the future of hunting, threats to it from anti-hunters and the ever-increasing poaching situation, but DSC was also instrumental in helping PHASA make some groundbreaking decisions regarding captive-bred hunting. DSC applaud these organizations’ oversight and achievement in upholding the “professional” in PH.
The newly formed DSC Foundation will expand the channels for fundraising support.
Also, amid death threats and security improvements following the hunt of a “named” lion, the social media attention in August and following has been a net positive. DSC was able to respond with the message that hunting is sustainable use, that conservation relies heavily on hunting to put value on the animals, raising both funds and awareness. The “middle” – those non-hunters who are not actively engaged in the issue – heard that message and are responding positively.