DALLAS – For the third straight year, DSC has granted more than $1 million for wildlife conservation, public education and hunter advocacy causes worldwide.
Grants for 2015 total $1,068,405.
Funded projects range from researching genetic diversity in African lions to protecting salmon fisheries in Alaska to renewing life insurance policies for game wardens in Texas. An abbreviated list of DSC grants for 2015 follows below.
Over the past five years, the organization has granted an unprecedented $5 million-plus, thanks to growth in its primary fundraiser, the DSC Convention and Sporting Expo held each January. The 2016 event is slated Jan. 7-10 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Exhibit space is sold out and a waiting list is 500-plus companies long.
“Our convention and expo has become a destination event for hunters across Texas and around the world. But attendees aren’t just having fun. They’re also supporting wildlife, wild places and sporting traditions,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director.
Proceeds from the 2015 event have been awarded to more than 70 grant applications.
Here’s a short list of projects funded by DSC:
- Amending the Texas Constitution – Funding an initiative that in November will give Texas voters an opportunity to pass constitutional protections for hunting and fishing. Eighteen states have already passed similar initiatives, making it harder for animal rights activists to chip away at sporting traditions and conservation.
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters – Sponsorship of two clay-target shoots to introduce newcomers to outdoor sports in Texas.
- Bighorn Sheep in Nevada – Helping fund University of Nevada-Reno research on Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep movement and dispersal patterns.
- Bighorns in the Yellowstone Ecosystem – Wild sheep are highly susceptible to diseases spread by domestic sheep, and the Gallatin Wildlife Association is working to restrict grazing permits in prime bighorn habitat. DSC is helping with legal expenses.
- Desert Bighorn Sheep in Texas – Improving habitat by adding guzzlers to the arid west Texas landscape. Projects of the Texas Bighorn Society and El Carmen Land and Conservation Co.
- Bristol Bay – DSC is funding efforts to prevent destructive Pebble Mine operations at one of Alaska’s most productive salmon fisheries.
- Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation – Supporting legislative efforts nationwide.
- Conservation Leadership – A DSC grant is funding The Wildlife Society’s institute to provide early-career wildlife professionals with leadership training.
- Elephant Conservation and Management in Zimbabwe – Sponsoring travel and consulting costs connected to drafting a new Zimbabwe National Elephant Action Plan.
- Exotic Game Species – Several game species (such as the addax, Dama gazelle and scimitar-horned oryx) near extinction in their native countries are thriving on ranches in Texas, where hunting offers a profit incentive for ranchers to sustain and grow populations. DSC-funded research will chart the actual effects of Endangered Species Act regulation on these ranches and species. Study by the Property and Environmental Research Center.
- Habitat Protection – A large DSC grant is sponsoring land conservation programs in Alaska, Montana and Texas. Administered by The Conservation Fund.
- Hunters for the Hungry – Supporting and promoting the widely successful program that supplies hunter-harvested venison to underprivileged families.
- Hunting Guides – DSC is a major sponsor of the Frontline Foundation, which provides financial assistance to professional hunters and guides (or their families) who are injured or killed on the job.
- Hunting in British Columbia – DSC-funded research will document and highlight the economic importance of hunting in a province where hunting is increasingly misunderstood and scrutinized by lawmakers and voters.
- Kids Outdoor Zone – Helping with youth hunting camps and mentor training.
- Law Enforcement in Zambia – An elephant killed a woman as she worked in a field in the North Luangwa area. Villagers blamed conservation officers for negligence. The officers’ headquarters camp was burned and looted by rioters. DSC is helping to replace equipment and infrastructure.
- Lions – A Texas A&M University project is using DNA to reconstruct historical population size and genetic diversity of African lions. DSC is helping to fund the work.
- Maine Bear Hunting – Supporting a public education program to help citizens understand the facts about bear hunting, which is under relentless attack by animal-rights and anti-hunting activists. Administered by the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council.
- Operation Game Thief – Support for the anti-poaching hotline and public awareness programs across Texas, including the “Wall of Shame” exhibit.
- Outdoor Adventures – This fast-growing program introduces students and their parents to a wide range of outdoor activities. The curriculum is now taught in more than 170 secondary schools, including public schools, across Texas and other states. Administered by the Dallas Ecological Foundation.
- Pronghorn Restoration – DSC over the years has been a steady contributor to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s pronghorn restoration efforts in the Trans-Pecos region of west Texas. Another DSC grant was issued for 2015.
- Public Land Access in Montana – Supporting the Public Land/Water Access Association’s work to secure and defend access for hunters and others.
- Rhino Protection – Building funds for anti-poaching initiatives of the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa and the Namibia Professional Hunting Association.
- Sitatungas – DSC is paying for radio collars, tracking equipment and monitoring for research on sitatungas, an amphibious marsh-dwelling antelope of central Africa. Project administered by the University of Alberta.
- Student Support in Africa – DSC is underwriting tuition, training and room and board expenses for students at South African Wildlife College.
- Texas Game Wardens – For many years in a row, including 2015, DSC has paid the premiums on life insurance policies for all game wardens in Texas.
- Trinity Strand Trail – Funding expansion of this urban Dallas trail system.
- USA Shooting Team – Sponsorship of America’s Olympic hopefuls in the ISSF Shotgun World Championships.
- Wetlands – A DSC grant is supporting efforts to protect old-growth cypress forests and wetlands in Texas. Administered by the Caddo Lake Institute.
- Young Hunters – DSC support will help strengthen and expand the popular Youth Hunter Education Challenge program of the NRA.
- Youth Education in Zimbabwe – Refurbishing teacher and student accommodations at Rifa Conservation Education Camp.