President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoor Act (GAOA) into law Aug. 4, 2020, making history and ensuring a bright future for wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation.
Among outdoor organizations invited to attend the signing was Safari Club International CEO W. Laird Hamberlin, representing SCI's commitment to advancing the legislation and in appreciation of the thousands of SCI members who contacted their elected officials regarding this issue.
The Great American Outdoors act came to fruition after President Trump openly called for legislation that fully finances the Land & Water Conservation Fund.
The GAOA was subsequently introduced by Senators Cory Gardner (R - CO) and Steve Daines (R - MT) on March 16. It passed the Senate 73 - 25 on June 22. The House version of the bill, sponsored by Congressmen Mike Simpson and Joe Cunningham (D - SC), was introduced on June 4. It passed the House 310 - 107 on July 22. SCI worked to advance this bill to the President's desk since the day it was introduced.
The GAOA was the centerpiece of SCI's Virtual Advocacy Week with Senator Gardner and Senator Daines making live video appearances to provide updates. SCI advocates from all 50 states sent thousands and thousands of emails to their Senators and Congressmen between May and July, urging them to support and pass the GAOA.
SCI joined approximately 45 other hunting and conservation groups through the American Wildlife Conservation Partners to voice support for the GAOA through a formal letter to both House and Senate leadership.
Though the passage of the GAOA is a cause for celebration, SCI will stay vigilant and continue to protect the freedom to hunt while looking to build on the momentum of the GAOA to further ensure a bright future for America's wild places and wild things and the time honored traditions of hunting and fishing.
Safari Club International (SCI) is a not-for-profit organization of hunters whose primary missions are to protect the freedom to hunt and to promote wildlife conservation. SCI's 50,000 members and 180 chapters in the US and around the world are passionate about hunting and about wildlife conservation. Hunters take pride in carrying on the ancient traditions and practices of the hunt. Hunting is part of human nature and it is what enabled humans to feed ourselves, defend ourselves from danger, form societies and develop art such as the cave paintings tens of thousands of years old that depict hunting because it was essential to the survival and growth of humankind.