About

Corporate Description


Conservation Force is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable public foundation. It is an international organization with partners worldwide. Its exempt purposes are wildlife conservation, education, research and serving the greater public good. It serves the public through support and development of conservation infrastructure locally, nationally and internationally. It is a comprehensive organization that functions as a worldwide communications center and information source, monitor, advisory think tank and pro-active advocate for its exempt conservation purposes. The aim is to aid, support and complement other organizations (a consortium of approximately 100 organizations) rather than compete, thus to be a positive addition to the overall capacity of the conservation community. It supports and is supported by a federation of partnering organizations from the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) in Paris to the Dallas Ecological Foundation in Texas.
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History


Conservation Force is the culmination of four decades of pro bono wildlife conservation advocacy. It began as minor pro bono legal services in the early 1970s. By the middle 1980s, a large part of the law firm's activities, staff and resources were devoted to conservation advocacy. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pro bono advocacy became the dominate activity of the law firm. In the early 1990s, the firm began achieving an unprecedented number of victories for traditional conservation interests around the world. During that period, the law firm became an around-the-clock international communication headquarters and advocacy "war room" for governmental and sportsmen's conservation organizations. Most partner, clerk and staff time was devoted to the pro bono protection and expansion of conservation through hunting. The firm provided uniquely pro-active services that led to a great number of conservation and bio-political successes. Many successes were wholly the work of the firm and others were carefully crafted collaborative initiatives orchestrated from the firm. The Elephant Initiative, Mozambique Leopard Initiative, and importation of horn from darted black rhino are examples of those almost totally performed by the firm. The firm legally processed an unprecedented number of successful test trophy import permits at no charge to the public because they were engines for conservation. Other achievements like the reform of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to permit the importation of polar bear trophies, though led by the law firm, exemplified a collaborative effort of many individuals and organizations seldom found in the conservation community.

The activities were led by John J. Jackson, III, a lifetime sportsman with four decades of service and leadership in hunting and fishing conservation organizations. He has been a member or officer in more than one hundred conservation organizations and the president of six, including Safari Club International. John states that even his first act as an attorney was the pro bono incorporation of a non-profit sport fishing organization. The blend of experience as an organizational leader, array of experience afield in the natural world, advocacy training and skills as a "AA" rated attorney, coupled with his infatuation with wildlife, wild places and the sporting way of life have motivated and enabled him to serve the public and to succeed again and again.

In the middle 1990s, the law firm was dissolved because the pro bono services to the conservation community had taken its toll on the firm. It was then that John, Chrissie and the network of volunteers and organizations formalized Conservation Force as a non-profit (501 (c)(3)), public charitable foundation to continue in perpetuity and expand the services and support that the principals had been providing to the hunting-conservation community. The firm, for more than a decade, had been providing services to many organizations that did not have the "in house" professional capacity, staff, and expertise necessary to fulfill their conservation missions.

The new Foundation was dedicated to continuing to provide those support services. The firm had been a worldwide communication center and "war room." The new Foundation was designed to continue to provide that network and service. The firm had serviced and supported many organizations while liberally sharing the credit for successes for the common good. The new Foundation is designed to complement, not compete, to support and to share the credit with all partnering organizations. Some initiatives take many years, e.g., the Elephant lawsuit to establish the importation of elephant hunting trophies took seven years and was handled wholly by the firm; the opposition to the "endangered listing" of the African Elephant took four years; the opposition to the Endangered Species Act listing of the Baja Desert Sheep took five years; the Cheetah Initiative is now 16 years old, etc. Conservation Force will continue to completion important long term programs regardless of their duration or difficulty.

The law firm's pro bono activities led to the first reform of international and diplomatic policy toward range nation conservation programs under the Endangered Species Act and CITES in a quarter of a century (CITES Trophy and Quota Resolutions at COP9.) It unearthed the inadequacy of the Endangered Species Act provisions for foreign mammals which are most listed mammals. Today, the Foundation continues to lead in the development and implementation of that ESA reform. From its inception, the firm had provided professional skills and resources beyond the "in house" capacity of the existing organizations to tackle the big and tough jobs. Today the Foundation continues that as it has in the past. The firm was a professional structure to get the job done without political divisiveness. Today, the Foundation maintains its independence and is organized to service the conservation community directly, efficiently and effectively. The firm had linked and worked with many hundreds of organizations and individuals. Today the Foundation serves as a consortium or collaborative federation of nearly all of those same organizations and more.

 

Ten Year Anniversary

 

Conservation Force was ten years old in September; ten years from its formal incorporation. It was initially formed by hunting leaders at the request of others in the community. Since that time it has expended approximately 12 million dollars on the ground in “smart” wildlife and habitat projects and its volunteers and directors have donated another 5 million dollars in expert legal and biological services. It has come to be supported by approximately 125 supporting organizations, foundations and also networks with hundreds of others around the globe. It has offices in Metairie, Louisiana, Paris, France, College Town, Texas, Newfoundland and Johannesburg, RSA. It has officers and directors that serve on all the most relevant organizations in the world, from IUCN’s specialist groups to CIC in Budapest. Present species projects span from the markhor in Pakistan to the polar bear in the Arctic.


Some of its advocacy highlights range from the defeat of the CITES listing proposal of urial and the ESA listing proposal of the Peninsula population of desert sheep in Baja to the defeat of the HSUS and Fund for Animal suit to ban the importation of argali trophies. Its educational materials have included everything from posters and bumper stickers on America’s Abundant Wildlife and Hunters Pay for Most Conservation, to the Chardonnet African Lion Study and Whitman and Packer’s Guideline to Aging African Lion in Southern and Eastern Africa. It has partnerships with organizations as diverse as WWF and WCS and its leaders serve on dozens of committees and boards around the globe.


Time has proven Conservation Force to be one of the most direct, efficient and effective means for sportsmen and women to further their interests. It is time for a special thanks to all the individuals and organizations that have trusted and invested in the Force.


The World Conservation Force Bulletin started before Conservation Force. The first issue was January 1997, Volume 1, Number 1. That initial issue covered eight topics including the new law prohibiting firearms and ammunition possession by any person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, another explaining ballot referendums and initiatives, the truth behind the movie The Ghost and the Darkness, an announcement that Ducks Unlimited had exceeded the $1 billion dollar mark for conservation, Defenders of Wildlife was circulating a petition to reintroduce wolves in the Adirondacks, the IUCN had rejected the membership of IFAW - which then lost its membership appeal, CITES had proposed listing all urial, and more.


All of the issues in that first Bulletin are still relevant today, particularly one I’ve not yet mentioned entitled Polar Bear Sport Hunting Regulations Coming Soon. That first issue of the Bulletin was the eve of the publication of the polar bear regulations that would soon permit importation of polar bear by U.S. hunters for the first time in a quarter of a century. Read on about that and other issues first covered in this Bulletin that are now coming to a head.
 

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2014 Conservation Force

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Metairie, Louisiana 70001-6911 USA
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