What They Say About Us...


The Alaska Professional Hunters Association is grateful for the efforts of the Conservation Force. There are many issues affecting legitimate conservation efforts and corresponding hunting opportunities throughout the world. Whether its meeting the challenge of the anti hunter, responding to CITES activities or promoting conservation programs, Conservation Force has, in our view, always been at the forefront in defending our hunting heritage.  There is a mix of political, legal, and administrative dimensions to conservation and hunting issues. Understanding these relationships and acting before the fact is critical to shaping our future. If we need to get current information on any hunting related issue worldwide, we can always call John Jackson to find out what's going on. We are especially pleased that he has taken such a keen interest in North American hunting issues. Thanks to the efforts of the Conservation Force, APHA can be much more effective in securing quality hunting opportunities in the future. Joe Klutsh, President, APHA
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John J. Jackson, III, is among hunting conservation’s greatest champions, fighting for hunters’ rights and sustainable use of wildlife around the world. Recognized as one of the most effective and respected NGOs out there, Conservation Force tirelessly advocates for hunting as an integral part of wildlife conservation and the support of local populations living with wildlife. The Jacksons are truly a force for conservation and the sport hunting way of life.  Barbara Crown, Editor & Publisher, The Hunting Report
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John, God bless you and all you do for all of us! Craig Boddington
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Conservation Force was started by John J. Jackson, III in 1997, a former president of Safari Club International from 1995 to 1996, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. It has become perhaps the most powerful legal force in the United States and the world on behalf of hunters, hunting, and sustainable harvest in the context of wildlife conservation.  Dr. Ron Gabriel, Fair Chase, Boone & Crockett Club

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In the case of the lion, we must especially support John Jackson and his Conservation Force, the one group that is truly doing the most to save the lion in Africa and to save the hunting of lion in Africa.  Craig Boddington, Boddington on Lion DVD

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We are scaling up efforts on lion monitoring here, saw your outstanding manual - excellent job.  Well done. We will be teaching the manual to our new intake of unit leaders. Dale Lewis PhD., WCS Zambia
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We continue to be amazed by the work of John Jackson (LA) and Conservation Force.  We applaud your efforts, John, and GSCO is proud to be a partner with you and the organization. We plan do to even more in 2007.  OVIS
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Congratulations again on leading the way in Washington this year. The hunting community has really benefited from your efforts. Gretchen Stark, Safari Outfitters
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We continue our support to Conservation Force as we recognize that the work done by John Jackson III is unparalleled, being focused on world-wide legal actions to re-open or maintain the sustainable use of renewable natural resources, (this is how hunting is called today). Eduardo de Aaroz, President IPHA
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Again thank you for your great efforts associated with the preservation of world hunting rights; especially with regard to the Argali case. Donald W. Jacklin, Jacklin Land Company
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Conservation Force is perhaps the most effective organization at promoting sport hunting and advocating for hunters' rights worldwide. John Jackson is absolutely committed to this task. John has the tenacity of a bulldog in the defense of hunters. FNAWS supports the efforts of Conservation Force. We consider financial support of Conservation Force to be an excellent investment for the future of hunting. Ray Lee, President, The Foundation for North American Wild Sheep
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The Foundation for North American Wild Sheep sincerely appreciates your untiring support for our hunting heritage which has been effective at all political levels. We thank you for what you've done for hunters worldwide.
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The Founder-President of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife is H.I.H. Prince Abdorreza of Iran who set up Iran's Department of the Environment and was the initiator during the 50's and 60's of the creation of Iran's 10 million hectares of Wildlife Reserves and National Parks.

H.I.H. Prince Abdorreza is also probably the world's most well-traveled and knowledgeable hunter. This is not a coincidence, since everybody is or should be aware that hunters worldwide have historically been responsible for the creation of Protected Areas, for wildlife conservation and its sustainable use.

The Foundation, in view of the tremendous work carried out under the guidance of John J. Jackson III to defend the sustainable use of wildlife and sport hunting, decided to collaborate with Conservation Force, to carry out joint projects and actions.

The Foundation, for the last twenty-five years has been conducting worldwide a considerable number of actions all aimed at the conservation and management of wildlife and its habitats. As an NGO not affiliated to any political lobbying group, its policy has been to involve all stakeholders with particular attention to local communities. Bertrand des Clers, International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife
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In order to facilitate their work on behalf of hunters' rights everywhere, John and Chrissie have started a 501C, entitled Conservation Force. I have only rarely met people of such principle, determination, selflessness and devotion to duty as John Jackson. And Chrissie comes in a close second. They have literally committed their lives and livelihood to hunters' rights and to wildlife conservation through trophy hunting. They bring the maximum impact and greatest positive change with no waste, the lowest overhead, and the highest ratio of personal contribution of any social benefit organization in this country. These two are more deserving of your support than any other. If you love hunting or wildlife, and want to preserve that legacy for generations, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to support John and Chrissie. Join the CF and donate as heavily as you can. You will do more for hunting, and for the benefit of Third World peoples, than you could by any other means. Twenty years from now you will be proud to say you stood with CF. (ABA) Art Aplin of A-Square in Any Shot You Want
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John [Jackson] is past president of SCI and Chrissie [Jackson] is past president of SCI-Sables. John started fighting the legal battle in 1989. After numerous victories, he closed his lucrative law practice and now works, full time (and out of his own pocket) fighting for trophy hunters' and range nations' rights in Congress, in the Federal court System and in international forums. If he continues his pace, he will, within 10 years, have done more for wildlife hunting and conservation than any man since Theodore Roosevelt. Art Aplin of A-Square in Any Shot You Want
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Wildlife conservation and hunters' rights has not greater champions than you. Art Aplin of A-Square in Any Shot You Want
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The entire Board joins me in expressing our appreciation for the job you are doing representing us at the international hunting level. We all feel that if we have but one voice, we are glad it is you. Dr. Richard Allen, President Dallas Ecological Foundation (7/27/99)
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Thank you for all you've done for the CIC during this year. We appreciate very much to have in USA somebody so reliable, devotional, attentive and at least so professional as you are.  We all hope that it will continue for many years. Jean-Ludovic Hartmann

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In my name and the name of the whole membership of IPHA, we can say, "We are proud of you." We see over and over we are supporting the right people. We will keep our support to Conservation Force because we believe in what you do to protect what we do!  Eduardo F. de Araoz, President of IPHA
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Good job with Conservation Force!  You're out front on the problems and contribute significantly to the solutions. Dave Hanlin, Chief Consultant: Big Game World Safari
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Conservation Force represents all hunters all over the world in the most difficult arenas. We thank John for all his help on behalf of all of us. David K. Langford, Texas Wildlife Magazine
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I know of no one with your global relationships and domain expertise of USFWS, CITES and International hunting activities, regulations, policies and resources.  Eric B. Stumberg, The Patio Ranch

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The hunting community owes you a great debt for your work on behalf of hunting and wildlife. Keep it up!  Ken Wilson of Sportsmen on Film
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John [Jackson] now has his own conservation outfit, aptly named Conservation Force, and through this medium he carries on the battle to assist America's hunters in maintaining our rights. He is still active in SCI as a former president, and the organization is better off because of it. He is greatly worthy of our thanks for what he has done and continues to do in the world of conservation and hunting. J. Y. Jones in Impossible to Fail
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Surely most of you are familiar with Conservation Force. This organization was founded and is run by John J. Jackson, III (LA). John is a past president of SCI, and is absolutely tireless in his efforts for wildlife around the world. He has done extensive work to keep the door open to hunting.. ..Thanks, John, for all your hard work. You guys and gals out there, help John wherever possible! A "thanks" at the Convention might even go a long way. . .a donation even further!

Thanks to John J. Jackson and his Conservation Force organization for their diligent work to stop the uplisting of desert sheep in Baja. John is doing a lot of work with limited resources. Dennis Campbell in Grand Slam
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Earlier, we talked about John Jackson (LA) and Conservation Force, but you need to know more about them. He almost single-handedly prevented the desert sheep of Baja, Mexico, from being listed as endangered by the USF&WS.. . .Believe me, this thing almost got through,and John seemed to be the only person who took it seriously. He almost had to beg for help, but his diligence paid off and he brought the right people into the fight. Thanks, John! Dennis Campbell in Grand Slam
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What a great job you've [John Jackson] done on the World Conservation Force Bulletin in the Hunting Report. Mark R. Herfort, Houston Safari Club Board
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I think John is doing a great service to the hunter. I think more people ought to realize this. Thornton N. Snider of Weatherby Foundation
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The job you (Chrissie Jackson) and John are doing is irreplaceable. I thank you, both.. Janet D. Nyce, Director-at-Large, Safari Club International
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Keep up the good work.. .You are probably the expert on hunting related problems and your expertise is certainly needed. Rex Baker
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The Hunting Report and famed hunting attorney, John J. Jackson, III, have formed a strategic alliance to open a new front in the fight for hunters' rights worldwide. Jackson is the past president of Safari Club International, whose many successes in the international legal arena include blocking an effort to list the African elephant as endangered on the US Endangered Species List. Without Jackson's efforts, most observers agree, elephant hunting by Americans would be a thing of the past and innovative elephant conservation programs throughout Africa would almost surely have foundered... .More broadly, it will also be a prohunting alliance that seeks to open up new hunting opportunities worldwide and ward off attacks on currently available opportunities. Don Causey, Editor (12/96) The Hunting Report
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I want you to know that I and my club very much appreciate your efforts in regard to conservation issues. Kevin A. Malone, President African Safari Club of Florida
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Thank you for all of the work and projects you undertake. Ray G. Petty, Treasurer Houston Safari Club
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We would like to thank you, John, for the tremendous work you are doing for conservation worldwide. It is great to be on board with you and to support you. . . .Dennis Campbell, Executive Director Grand Slam Club
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Jackson's victory in the Terk case is one of the most important legal events in recent US hunting history. Don Causey, Editor (2/98) The Hunting Report
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We greatly appreciate the efforts you are putting forth to help our cause in the preservation and protection of our hunting rights. Randall Bush, President Alabama Chapter SCI
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John Jackson, former president of Safari Club International, is the inspiration behind the Conservation Force. It has been through his tireless efforts and commitment to our sport that Conservation Force has become a formidable public voice for hunting. The Conservation Force is a proactive sportsmen's organization intended to unify the hunting world, to improve the profile of hunting and hunters, and to expand and protect the role of hunting in wildlife conservation. As Chairman of the Board, John Jackson has assembled a powerful group of legal, wildlife management and world hunting experts to form a most dedicated, focused and capable organization that serves, supports and unifies all hunting organization. It acts as an information, early warning and communication center, a think tank and advocacy group for the sport of hunting. As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) foundation, the Conservation Force needs your support in the form of funds.. .funds earmarked to promote the overall viability of hunting. John's excellent World Conservation Force Bulletins are published as monthly supplements to The Hunting Report. International Professional Hunters Assocation (IPHA)
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This organization (Conservation Force) will represent us internationally to make sure that sport hunting remains a recognized cornerstone of wildlife conservation. The list of accomplishments of this new sportsman's public charity is already very impressive and we are proud to be a sponsor member. Richard Allen, President Dallas Ecological Foundation
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Your efforts stand alone! I am continually amazed at the diversity and effectiveness at which you engage the forces of anti-hunting. We all owe much to you for this and the generations to come.  Jimmie C. Rosenbruch, Rosenbruch Foundation, World Wildlife Heritage Museum
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No individual organization has the intellectual, personal and/or financial resources to to all that - but as a Hunters Alliance we can make a difference! Conservation Force could lead us into this direction! This is - in my opinion - the real lesson all hunters (and their respective organizations) have to internalize from CITES CoP 13! Gerhard Damm
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The NTA (National Taxidermy Association) is an Organization Sponsor for the Conservation Force. The CF is a proactive organization that has been formed by the hunting world's foremost leaders to represent hunters. It's main purpose is to improve the profile of hunting and hunters, to expand and protect hunting and to unify the world's hunting organizations. Conservation Force is purposefully composed of the leading legal and biological experts on conservation through hunting. They are complemented by a worldwide network of experts and volunteer teams.

The Conservation Force attends roughly 30 meetings and by the NTA joining the CF we will be represented at these meetings. Our opinions will be heard and considered. Editor, Outlook, NTA
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I believe in giving credit where credit is due. That is one reason why I try to mention John J. Jackson, III (LA) and his organization, Conservation Force, every chance I get. I receive all of his correspondence (or copies of it), and this guy is working very hard for all of us. He does not get much recognition from the "big" organizations, but continues to work anyway. . .behind the scenes in many cases. John amazes me at how he stays on top of CITES stuff. How does he read through all that mumbo jumbo bureaucratic stuff and get down to the essence of their ulterior motives. I do not know, but am thankful that he does. He is on the verge of some real breakthroughs that will affect most of us. We will report it here as it happens. Keep up the great work, John! (By the way, he has already had several breakthroughs in the past. I am speaking of new, exciting stuff now on the horizon.) Dennis Campbell, Editor Grand Slam
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[W]e need to take a more aggressive stand on international issues. The Conservation Force can be that focal point that the various hunting organizations throughout the world can stand behind. They are doing it for us right now, whether it is importation of trophies, international travel or un-endangered species. John and his organization must be supported. On behalf of the African Safari Club of Florida, I wanted to thank you for your support for an organization that we feel is a must. Robert J. Lodge, President African Safari Club of Florida
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All hunters should be, and hopefully are, very appreciative of the efforts, goals and successes of Conservation Force. Lawrence B. Carlson
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We support and truly appreciate the work that your organization has undertaken. Ray G. Petty, Treasurer  Houston Safari Club
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On behalf of the Orange County Chapter, I would like to express our appreciation for your untiring efforts to preserve the rights of hunters, and to protect those rights from bureaucratic interference. Your long string of successes have proven to be a plus for hunters worldwide... .Your hard work and patient efforts are greatly appreciated by both this Chapter, and the majority of SCI members. Marvin M. Oliver, President SCI, Orange County Chapter
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It seems that you are certainly the forerunner on challenging the people/organizations who continually want to negatively affect hunting in the U.S. Keep up the good work. Scott C. Thomas, President SCI, Orlando Chapter
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I want to thank you for your tireless effort to save hunting. No one I know has the energy or knowledge and enthusiasm. Michael G. Adams, D.D.S.
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It is rare and refreshing to find a person who is committed to unselfish ideals and ends in today's world. . . There aren't many of us as you know, John, and for good reason. Bob Bailey
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It is reassuring to know that someone with your knowledge and experience is watching out for the conservation interests of our resource worldwide. Through individuals like yourself, the message that hunting is a viable conservation tool is being delivered around the globe, and we appreciate the work you have put into this cause. Doug Walker, Executive Director  B.C. Wildlife Federation
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I recently subscribed to the Hunt Report and have been impressed and enlightened (.. .and enheartened), by your articles. I hope that you can continue your efforts and publications. They are clearly essential to the preservation of our right to hunt (and fish). Thank you for your diligence. David P. Gannon, Jr., M.D.
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There is no doubt in my mind that you are by far the most important singe influence to preserve hunting worldwide. I am very happy to have the opportunity to support you. Kevin A. Malone
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Do you ever sleep? Your energy is unmatched and your actions exceptional. Thank you. Gray N. Thornton, Exec. Director Dallas Safari Club
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We empathetically say YES, Conservation Force is the best! We are very fortunate to have them in our corner. More to the point, being represented as taxidermists at all the major conferences held around the world, they get inside knowledge of any proposals that could have a negative and adverse effect on taxidermists. This includes monitoring anti-groups that would be keen to put us out of business and also monitoring the Federal Register on a daily basis.
Conservation Force has proven to support, serve, and unify all hunting organizations, which includes the National Taxidermists Association. This allows us to act as an information and early warning communication center for our members. Greg Grain, Executive Director, NTA
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You are super people and the hunting community is incredibly fortunate to have you leading the fight for us. Benjamin Schaub
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Thank you John for doing such a marvelous job on protecting our hunting right and for the opportunity of getting better acquainted with you over the years. Arthur Dubs, Pacific International Enterprises, Inc.
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John Jackson is a distinguished international lawyer who has done more than anyone in the world to protect hunting. Don Causey
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Conservation Force, an organization that through the fine efforts, experience and commitment of John Jackson, we consider to be the leader in wildlife conservation and hunting advocacy. Alberto J. de Jongh
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Just wanted to share how impressed we are with you and Gerhard. He was a fabulous addition to the CF Board. Gray Thornton
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We believe in what you are doing and appreciate your efforts in helping preserve hunting traditions. Mark E. Campbell, Director RMBS
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You, personally, are doing great work.  I so respect you and what you are doing. Proud is the word that comes to mind. Gary R. Swanson, Wilderness Images, LTD
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We so much admire & respect your work - and for making the sacrifices to accomplish goals. Congratulations for well-deserved recognitions on all levels - and for having the heart to make it happen.  Susan Roussos
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IPHA's thanks must also go out to John and The Conservation Force, for keeping an eye on our welfare as far as CITES and all things of governmental nature is concerned.  Without his constant diligence the future of our industry could be changed dramatically. I know for sure that we get a far larger portion of John's cake than we actually pay for. Thank you John. Terry Pierson, President International Professional Hunters' Association
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The people you are working with and the organizations you partner with show a record of accomplishment that makes me proud of you. Thanks for all you are doing.  Jim Beers
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The Conklin Foundation recognizes Conservation Force as a leader in the field of hunter advocacy worldwide and applauds you for your efforts.  The Conklin Foundation is proud to be able to assist Conservation Force in lessening the tremendous financial burden of hunter advocacy litigation. Philip M. Ripepi, The Conklin Foundation
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Thank you for all you do! Keith Johnson, Senior Alaskan Guide
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You are doing incredible work that will benefit my children's interest in hunting years to come and that's extremely worthy of my support. Thank you for all you are doing to save hunting worldwide. Homer Tompkins
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I realized that there was absolutely no hope for us hunters to enjoy returning Elephant trophies from Cameroon safaris unless YOU took the bull by the horns. I feel confident that your tremendous dedication and unequalled expertise will get the job done for so many to enjoy later. Charlie Goldenberg, Premier Safaris
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I commend your creative , boundless, and well-traveled efforts to save licensed ethical hunting within the United States. Keep up the great work. The cause of education the public on the importance of licensed ethical hunting is worthy and noble and helps to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. James A. Schneider

A very special thanks to John Jackson who is to represent IPHA at CITES. Although IPHA makes a small contribution towards John's personal costs, without his personal generosity, our Association would not be represented at these most important meetings. Attendance at CITES and a watching brief on any issues that may affect us, as professionals in the industry, is essential. Needless to say, we are indeed fortunate to be represented by someone who has the depth of knowledge and ability that John has and we can only offer our heartfelt thanks for his efforts on each and everyone's behalf. Terry Pierson, President International Professional Hunters' Association
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Please remember that Mr. Jackson is a world-class lawyer in these matters and is handling my case as a test case for the world hunting community at no charge to myself. It is a great gesture. Lawerence A. Franks (Mozambique elephant permit applicant)
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I marvel at your energy and commitment. James G. Teer, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Texas A & M
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You are incredibly committed and energetic, John, and I much admire you and your ceaseless work on behalf of hunting and conservation. Randal Eaton, Ph.D., (Author, The Sacred Hunt)
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John, I always had the highest regard for you even when you were President for SCI. Tony Da Costa
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I suspect you are having a major impact on wildlife conservation around the world ( and would certainly like to know more about your successes and vision of the future) and admire very much your energy and passion and ability to work with so many partners and leaders around the world. Dale Lewis, Ph.D. ADMADE, Zambia
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We all appreciate your excellent work on the part of all interested parties. Please keep your excellent work going.
Gordon Rockefeller New York
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I appreciate you, your organization, and your going to London very much. I hope you get your just reward(s) someday soon. Thank you for representing all of us so well. David K. Langford, Assistant Vice President Texas Wildlife Association
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John-just for the record. I think you are doing a great job. Ron Thompson
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We need more people like you, you have helped the north immensely with your efforts.  Boyd Warner, Adventure Northwest Ltd.
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"Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords," so stated a great American hunter, Teddy Roosevelt. I am sure that he would have been happy to have had you as his attorney. Charles Salzhauer
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Thanks for all you do, keep up the good work. Jack G. Brittingham
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Simply marvelous! What a great group, John! Excellent partnering!!! Marty, Moose Foundation
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Thank you for all you have done for the nation's sportsmen. Mark Damian Duda Responsive Management
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You both are creating such a positive mood and motivating atmosphere to the people being with you! It was a pleasure sharing with you the moving experience in London. Markus Binding, Ph.D., CIC
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I've been following your progress with keen interest and can only say that I admire your energy, foresight and conviction to get everyone rallied on your conservation projects. Congratulations to you and your team! Debbie, Mochaba Developments
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I thoroughly agree that all hunters owe you a sincere debt of gratitude for all your work.  My belief is that this is something worthwhile not only for myself but future generations of hunters. Please keep up the good work and I wish you the best.  Tony Bessette
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I would like to thank you for your priceless experience , help and advise in CoP13.  Manuel Esparrago FACE
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Well done, John! Keep it up. Colonel Bill Williamson Fair Chase Ltd.
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The World's most aggressive and most effective hunting/conservation. Charlie Goldenberg
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Congratulations. Without all your hard work and input, the results of the CITES outcome on Lion Hunting could have been seriously damaging to Lion populations in Africa. ON behalf of Robin Hurt Safaris Tanzania Ltd. and the Cullman & Hurt Community Wildlife Project, and all other operators of safaris in Tanzania, and from the communities we represent, a heartfelt thank you to you both.  Robin Hurt
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Just a short note to both congratulate and thank you for the successful battle you fought and won with the Argali lawsuit. I watched your efforts from the beginning and fully understand that without your leadership and dedication that the successful outcome would not have happened. Bill Scoble
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John, Thanks for all you've done for all of us!! Jim Shockey, Ultimate Big Game Adventures
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I have watched with great pleasure as you have tirelessly fought for sportsmen's rights and the protection of hunting around the world. Keep up the great work. Don Peay, Utah
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I can never say enough for what you have done to save hunting, with you wisdom, you are "the man". Jack Jonas
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You continue to be the most important voice in wildlife conservation. John Lowery
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As is true inmost of the international import issues, John is the ultimate authority and the only person who is really doing anything to further US hunters' interests. Don Causey
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This is a blockbuster report that needs to become part of the national debate about (John) Kerry, and the NRA...if anyone gets credit, it's John Jackson and Conservation Force. The man is the most effective hunting advocate in the world today. Don Causey
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Thank you for Conservation Force. Kirk Fordice, Governor, State of Mississippi
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We (DSC & DEF) know it is you who is THE ONLY true person getting things done. . . That is why you have our 100% support and funding. Gray Thornton, Executive Director Dallas Safari Club
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I and lots of other sportsmen and women (including my daughter and wife who will be in stands Saturday morning as our deer season opens) owe you and the other 400,000+ folks a debt of gratitude for walking the walk. Dan Dessecker Senior Wildlife biologist, Ruffed Grouse Society
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God bless and sustain John J. Jackson, III! E. David Scott, MD
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John—Your vision and role in hunting make you the leader in the world regarding preservation of big game hunting and its potent conservation influence. You have brought hunting into the circles of influence where it belongs, and I congratulate you . . . we need your continuing leadership. Randal Eaton, Ph.D.
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Please be advised that Mr. John Jackson, III, is a member in good standing of the B.C. Wildlife Federation and has been a member for over 8 years. In addition, Conservation Force also holds a membership with the Federation, which has Mr. Jackson, HI listed as their representative. . . . Mr. Jackson represents our interest at CITES COP 12 and has our full confidence that he understands the complexities of the issues being discussed at this meeting. Doug Walker, Executive Director B.C. Wildlife Federation
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Keep up the good work. You are the only "voice" we have. Roger Hooper, Past President of DSC
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Conservation Force: This is the most mileage the NTA has ever received. Any individual who is unconvinced about joining the NTA would get their full dues value just with what Conservation Force is doing for our industry.

Every victory won by Conservation Force translates into business for the taxidermy industry.

I empathetically say YES,. Conservation Force is the best! We are definitely getting the most bang for our buck Conservation Force is NOT concerned with only European or African trophies.

This was a real eye opener and proves without a shadow of a doubt that we are very fortunate to have them in our corner.  They are the first to know about numerous items that can effect our profession. The Conservation Force is a core supporter of the NTA. Frankie Thompson, National Taxidermists Association
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What an impressive organization. I certainly hope that I can work with you and Conservation Force in the future. Mark W. Thomas, Quality Deer Management Association
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I have seen your web site and was surprised that I hadn't come across it before. I am in complete support of your mission, purpose, and objectives. Good work. Steve Gluck
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If there were more guys like you out there, guys like me would be spending more time in canoes and blinds. James M. Beers, Retired USF&WS biologist
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Once again, I would like to commend you on your spectacular work. I have my trumpet close at hand and
will continue to blow that trumpet for John Jackson & Conservation Force. I really appreciate you as an individual and for your tremendous work. Dennis Campbell President Grand Slam/OVIS
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More strength to you both in what you are doing for Africa. Fiona Capstick, Author RSA (Widow of author Peter Capstick)
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Thank you for your tireless efforts in protecting our hunting rights and opportunities. Phil Ripepi
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Thanks again for all of your efforts on behalf of hunters around the world. Bob Kern, The Hunting Consortium
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I just checked Conservation Force's web site and was impressed with the breadth of conservation projects CF is involved with. Gray Wolfe, Ph.D., Past Executive Director Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
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Thank you for your commitment to Africa, which we all appreciate very much. Pauline Mousley The Safari World of Robin Hurt Ltd.
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Thanks for all of your hard work on behalf of wildlife. Gretchen Stark, Safari Outfitters
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I would like to encourage all of you to pay close attention to what John Jackson and Conservation Force are doing for us in the sheep conservation arena. Remember that he continues to lead the fight on the argali litigation. Where would we be without John and his tenacity in staying on top of this fight? Dennis Campbell
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I appreciate the efforts of your organization to try to help preserve our great sport... we do appreciate your efforts and want to say so!!! Wes Vining, Trophy Connection
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You are to be congratulated on all you do for wildlife and the future of hunting. Mark Damian Duda
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Conservation Force . . . the leading organization who lobbies and fights to protect the rights of hunters. H. Wayne Ginn, President, DEF
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Conservation Force. That group represents all hunters all over the world in the most difficult of arenas: the courtroom. We thank John for all his help on behalf of all of us ... David K. Langford, Assistant Vice President Texas Wildlife Association
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"Thank you" for your kind help on our bear issues. . . I'm encouraging my members to support Conservation Force and will do so myself as soon as possible. John Boretsky New Mexico Council of Outfitters & Guides
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Thank you for your commitment to the Land Ethic!  Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director Aldo Leopold Foundation, Inc.
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We support and appreciate your efforts in behalf of all of us...Fred Webb Webb Outfitting, Yellowknife
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You are doing a great job! Keep it up. Pat Bollman
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I admire all the work you do for us hunters. Clayton W. Williams, Jr.
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John Jackson of Conservation Force. John is the voice for hunter's rights and responsible conservation policies. He deserves our support. Bob Harper, Outdoor Visions
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I know that if someone can do it, it has to be you. As always, you have my support and admiration. Carlos Davidov
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I know that I don't compliment you often enough about the good job you and Conservation Force does. Just consider this a thank you from hunter's around the world. Mike Westad
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It would be an honor to work together with you in a partnering arrangement to produce brochures, articles, and even forums to counter the extremist agendas of animal rights activists. Richard Jordan President of CSF, International
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Thanks for all the work you do for conservation efforts. Congressman Jim Barcia
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I would just like to say personally that I was inspired by your talk and the time spent in the media room afterwards. Your insights and ideas were incredible and I hope we can get this message out to the people across Ontario. Mark Cousins, Communications Liaison Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
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It was great to have someone so positive in REAL conservation these days. Thank you for that. Robin Hurt The Safari World of Robin Hurt Ltd., Kenya
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We are very proud of having Conservation Force as our advocate and protector, and recognize, commend, and continue to support and reward their unrelenting efforts and accomplishments on our behalf. Central Louisiana Chapter of SCI
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To me John Jackson and the Conservation Force is the most important thing we hunters have going for us. Why is it that when trouble starts John Jackson is the first person most people involved call. Some examples: Lion hunting closing in Botswana, Grizzly bear hunting closing in B.C., Zambia closing hunting etc. When the HSUS, Fund For Animals, Earth Island Institute and others filed a lawsuit against the U.S., John Jackson was the first to file a motion to intervene. Bert Klineburger
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Thank you for all you've done for Wildlife Management Interactive. You have exceeded our expectations and are providing us with invaluable information that we would not have otherwise. Courtney Broaden
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Cameroon is alive because of you. Andre DeGeorges
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Thanks for all you have done for conservation of our State, Nation and World National Resources.
Joe Herrin
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I would like to convey my sincere thanks to you, and Conservation Force, for your support of the formation of hunting section in the Outdoor Writers Association of America. The creation of a hunting communicators section . . . passes along the heritage of hunting to the next generation can tackle the tough questions facing our industry, in concert. As a single outdoor communicator's audience can number more than 1 million, the impact of your support cannot possibly be overstated — nor can the positive contribution it will make in the long-term struggle to conserve wildlife, and ultimately protect our right to hunt, worldwide. Guy J. Sagi, Editor Mule Deer Magazine
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WMC wishes to thank you most sincerely for your kind contribution to our eNewsletter. We have received excellent comments from various parts of the world, to name a couple: Austrailia, Canada, and Vietnam. Needless to say that we are most grateful to you. Eugene Lapointe, President IWMC World Conservation Trust
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Your presentation on the sportsman's role in hunting was timely and informative and very well received. Association members recognize and value your dedicated efforts to educate and inform property owners across America. Diane Lacy, President Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association
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You're doing a brilliant job with Conservation Force. Don't know what the hunting community would do without you.  Holt Bodinson, Past Executive Director of SCI

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It seems, in a way, as if you are a lonely beacon in the night, but thank goodness you are there. Sherwin N. Scott
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My boys depend on you. Tim Richardson
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The Fund has continued to support the important work done by Conservation Force for hunting all over Africa and indeed the world. In the mammoth and indefatigable efforts of John Jackson can be seen the success in protecting the rights of hunters and ensuring that the important role that hunting plays in the conservation of wildlife is recognized. Conservation Force, in the person of John Jackson, represents PHASA's interests at CITES and other forums of importance to our industry. [T]here is no doubt that his continued efforts play a large role in protecting our rights and itnerests and hence the financial support given to Conservation Force.  Professional Hunters Association of South Africa, Conservation and Empowerment Final Report, 2009.

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John and Chrissie, I have always admired your strong dedication to conservation needs in the developing world. I wish I had put my work into the field rather than a university. You just don't give up, despite some tough going from time to time with this or that endangered species. I do not know a single person in conservation that can match your dedication and perseverance. Thank you.  Dr. James G. Teer

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Superheroes are big these days, perhaps because it seems like so many problems are on a world-wide scale and beyond man's ability to solve them. If we were to hold an election for hunting's version of Spider-Man, I would nominate Louisiana attorney John Jackson, III, because Jackson has spun an international network of connections with a tireless motivation to make things happen that benefit wildlife and preserve the hunting heritage.  James Swan, Outdoorhub.com

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Hi John,

I just got my new issues of Sports Afield with your interview in it, fantastic! I wish I had the ability to help you in your fight for the cause we hold so dear. I know of no one who has worked harder or given up more for the animals and their habitat that we cherish. From my heart and those of my kids and now grandkids, I thank you. I'm proud to have you as a friend and so glad you're on our side.  James C. Reed, Sports Afield Magazine

 

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Hunting as a Force for Conservation: John Jackson, III

John Jackson III

 

Superheroes are big these days, perhaps because it seems like so many problems are on a world-wide scale and beyond man’s ability to solve them. If we were to hold an election for hunting’s version of Spider-Man, I would nominate Louisiana attorney John Jackson, III, because Jackson has spun an international network of connections with a tireless motivation to make things happen that benefit wildlife and preserve the hunting heritage.

John grew up in Louisiana, inheriting a strong law enforcement tradition. His grandfather, John Jackson Sr., was the police chief of New Orleans. John’s father, John Jackson Jr., was a New Orleans homicide detective, who taught his son about law and firearms.

“It was my uncle,” John Jackson III says, “who got me outdoors and introduced me to hunting and fishing. At an early age, I learned that nothing can be as fulfilling as being outdoors. My senses become awake. There is nothing quite like it. The powerful presence of nature and wildlife has been a driving force throughout my entire life.”

John attended Loyola and ultimately studied law. After graduation, his practice quickly grew and in his free time, he became a big game hunter. In the 1970s he began doing some minor pro bono work on wildlife conservation. By the mid-1980s, the focus of his firm’s activities had moved toward more and more work on wildlife advocacy. By this time, he had begun taking hunting trips to Africa, which led to a revelation.

“What I saw was that when hunting leaves an area, poachers enter, and the elephants and other wildlife were then in serious trouble. I realized that hunters pumped money into impoverished local communities through licenses, fees and hiring locals, and provided an important legal source of meat from animals harvested. When the hunting was removed, poaching took off and wildlife and the local communities really suffered.”

The firm’s work on wildlife law, importing trophies, and hunters’ rights began to escalate. In the early 1990s, they achieved an unprecedented number of victories for traditional conservation interests around the world. The Elephant Initiative, Mozambique Leopard Initiative, and importation of horns from darted black rhino are examples of cases almost totally performed by the firm. 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 law firm became an around-the-clock international communication headquarters and advocacy “war room” for governmental and sportsmen’s conservation organizations. The firm legally processed an unprecedented number of successful test trophy import permits at no charge to the public because they had become engines for conservation.

Faced with magnitude of the need for wildlife legal work, John finally created Conservation Force, a 501-C-3 non-profit public foundation whose primary purpose is the conservation of wildlife through hunting. Conservation Force today provides counsel for some 200 organizations and countries around the world. Among the projects that Conservation Force today takes on are pro bono, litigation, and trophy imports. This past year alone he has obtained the release of hundreds of hunting trophies that had been detained or seized for ever increasing reasons.

John saw that some of the animal rights groups are creating land trusts that seek to prevent hunting on that land. In response, recently Conservation Force has set up its own land trust. To date Conservation Force has set conservation easements on 20 properties in the US, where the right to hunt is preserved in perpetuity.

Jackson and Conservation Force don’t just walk in, appear in court, and then leave. They have become a leading NGO in Africa. He is especially proud of his supporting role with the Cullman-Hurt Foundation that empowers local communities in Africa to take an active role in wildlife conservation and anti-poaching, and in exchange, money is pumped into local communities from safaris and donations. Cullman-Hurt, and the CAMPFIRE program have inspired several other similar successful conservation programs including: LIFE Plus Project in Namibia and the nearly one million acre SAVE Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, which is the largest privately owned lion reserve in Africa. Since 1995, the lion population in the SAVE Valley Conservancy has increased at 35% per year. Today it holds 10% of the lion population in the entire country of Zimbabwe and 25% of the rhinos in Zimbabwe. SVC has an extremely sophisticated anti-poaching patrol backed by 200 game scouts.

Jackson’s passion for his work and for hunting have kept him on the move constantly for decades. He is one of the founders of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, a consortium of 42 organizations, representing over 6 million individual members. Other “trophies” he can be proud of include: serving as the 19th President of Safari Club International; past Chairman of both SCI’s Governmental Affairs and Renewable Wildlife Resources Committee who initiated and led most of Safari Club International’s Renewable Wildlife Resources Committee and Governmental Affairs programs and victories for nearly a decade.

Immersed in the legal and political wars about hunting all over the world on a daily basis for years, I asked John to consult his crystal ball about the future of hunting. He replied that he saw four challenges.

1) Nonsensical laws and increasing regulations. He said, and I concur, there are way too many hunting regs, and more and more seem to be added every year, both domestically and internationally. He sees this on an almost daily basis is in the importation of trophies taken abroad. A hunter can now go abroad and legally bag a trophy animal, but bringing the head and cape back may take years. He does add though that he is happy that finally the US Fish and Wildlife Service has publically acknowledged that “there is a reasonable argument for the proposition that controlled sports may provide economic incentives that contribute to the conservation of certain wildlife populations.” One milestone of which John is delighted about is that on August 7, 2012, the USFWS proposed the downlisting of trophies of the Torghar Markhor goat from the Balochistan Province in Pakistan, which would permit the US import of these trophies.

2) Issues with the world-wide transportation of firearms. John does a lot of international traveling. He reports that some European countries are starting to require a special permit to transport a firearm through that country, even if it is on an airplane and the hunter does not plan to claim the firearm from baggage, for they plan to hunt in another country. John says that if such a bind occurs, such as when a plane stops to refuel, guns confiscated, and the airlines may receive steep fines.

3) John does not deny that climate change may exist, but he sees it being used as a rationale for listing species as threatened or endangered that are nowhere near in need of such protections. The polar bear is an example. (Ironically, climate change is expected to improve the status of the wood bison, a species that Jackson recently spearheaded downlisting to threatened, making it importable.) John has been working with Canadian Eskimo hunters from Nunavut for years trying to get a realistic census of polar bear numbers. The bears are a major source of income for the Eskimos, who guide hunters to bag bears. They also take some for food and hides. The Eskimos, who live with the bears on a daily basis, insist there are many more bears than some scientists are saying – as many as twice as many. They also add that polar bears do feed on land in summer months, such as indulging in breeding flocks of geese along the Arctic Ocean shoreline. This would indicate that even if Arctic summer ice recedes for a longer period, it does not mean that the bear will starve. They can and do adapt to changing conditions.

John suggests that today some “experts” are using polar bears and receding ice as an argument to curtail hunting. If this sets a precedent, he could see how some might argue that global warming will result in less rainfall in northern areas, which would mean decreasing wetlands, and therefore waterfowl hunting would have to be restricted or curtailed.

4) The need to educate the public about hunting. To mainstream America, the hunter is a mysterious person, all too often the target of undeserved negative media. The fact that hunting is a critical wildlife management toll, a major supporter of conservation and economic benefits to many people, and a powerful recreational experience that teaches people to care for nature, is not well-understood by the vast majority of people, especially in America. He’s happy to see the growing popularity of big game hunting in the US and abroad. However, he added, hunters are still a minority and vulnerable on many fronts.

John with his wife Chrissie


A Special Hunt

John Jackson, III, has hunted all over the world. He has been to Africa more than 150 times. Most trips were wildlife conservation meetings and 44 were hunting safaris. I asked him about any especially memorable hunts. He replied with a real beaut.

Several animal rights groups had filed an injunction against the Secretary of Interior and Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to stop importation of argali sheep trophies into the US. Their suit would also invalidate 100 importation permits already issued.

Jackson, who is one of the leading authorities on animal importation law, was asked on behalf of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, the Gland Slam-Ovis Foundation , and Conservation Force, the organization he directs, to handle the case Pro Bono. John had never before hunted for Marco Polo sheep and so he wanted first-hand experience.

In September 2001, following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, John decided to hunt Marco Polo sheep in the high mountains bordering Afghanistan. He had booked the trip before the 9/11 attack. His friends tried to discourage him, but he saw hunting for those sheep with huge horns, as way to pump money into the Tajikistan wildlife infrastructure, which is essential to support efforts to conserve these rare animals.

Aside from his dislike for animal rights activists, John said that he felt “a duty” to go on this hunt, because the September 11 attacks had made not one, but now two groups of terrorists opposing hunting argali sheep. This suit was very important, as if the animal rights groups prevailed, it would establish a precedent that a foreign country can determine if a species in another country is “endangered.” He said if the antis won this case they could try to stop all importation of trophies into the US, which essentially would throw a monkey wrench into trophy hunting worldwide.

John flew from New Orleans to Kyrgyzstan. That was as close as he could get to the Hindu Kush Mountains of southern Tajikistan along the Afghanistan border, where the hunt was to be held. Going there in the fall is tied to the annual migrations of argali sheep, especially the Marco Polo variety, that come into Tajikistan from Afghanistan and China as winter arrives. The next step of the trip involved two 16-hour days traveling by car across Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. The roads are not exactly superhighways, but what made the trip so long were the six planned checkpoints they had to pass through in each country, plus several other unplanned searches.

He said that the outfitter had brought along “gifts” for the soldiers at each checkpoint to help expedite their passage. Some people had advised John, as an American, to “keep a low profile,” but he said that the Russian border guards were quite friendly to Americans, and openly expressed their dislike for the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

They finally arrived at a base camp at the 17,000 feet level in southern Tajikistan. They were above the tree line, surrounded by tall snow-capped mountains rising out of expansive valleys. While the country looks desolate with no trees or bushes, there is a good deal of grass and other low green vegetation; enough to support not only sheep, goats and ibex but many rabbits, as well as foxes, eagles and wolves.

The Marco Polo sheep is one of the argali species, distinguished by its extremely long curving horns. John reported that while they were hunting he saw 400-500 wild sheep every day, most at a considerable distance.

They camped at 17,000 feet and hunted at 19,000 or higher. To accommodate to the altitude, John had to take Diomax to sleep at night, which helps your oxygen absorption to compensate for the thin air at that altitude. If you don’t, respiration slows at night when you sleep and you tend to wake up feeling anxious, like you can’t breathe. He didn’t take the pill one day and said that it he woke out feeling very anxious.

They hiked daily to 19,000 feet or more, walking slowly, taking 6-8 steps, and then pausing to catch their breath. John said the temperature was about -20′F, but to appreciate the experience, factor in a brisk wind, making the wind-chill astronomical low. A gust of wind or blast of snow, as well as being swept away in a rockslide, was an ever-present danger. The one unexpected comfort was thermal springs, which enabled him to have a hot bath every day.

On the third day, with the threat of a big snowstorm coming in, the guide spotted four good-sized rams. They made a stalk, which was painstakingly slow at that altitude and with so little cover. The guide advised John that he had better shoot. The rams looked very tiny. Jackson pulled out his range finder. It said the distance was 585 yards. The guide insisted that this might be their only chance. Jackson was reluctant, but the guide told it that it might be now or never. So, John sighted in and shot three times, bringing down the biggest ram in the group. It died almost immediately as he hit him with all three shots.

The Marco Polo rams are known for their immense curling horns. The world record is 67″ long, on each side. John’s ram measured 50″ on a side, with a 17″ base. It’s estimated live weight was close to 400 pounds. As always happens, the storm did not materialize and so the next day he went out for a walk and saw several rams that would go 60″ or more.

John found many argali sheep streaming into Tajikistan, which is in keeping with reports of biologists of that country, who believe controlled hunting is no threat to the argali populations. The Tajikistan government surveys indicate there are 12-14,000 Marco Polo sheep in Tajikistan annually in the hunting areas. They are more numerous than any longhorn sheep in North America. Jackson says, “It was nothing to see 60-80 rams in one herd.”

Hunters bring in several million dollars a year to the region. Tajikistan receives $13,000 in license fees alone for each sheep hunter, and there are about 80 hunters a year, about half of which come from the US. This money is the primary support for research and conservation of sheep populations. The local clans are stakeholders in the sheep management program. Thus to stop the hunting of argali sheep would essentially cut off all money for sheep conservation in that part of the world, which might very well result in the species becoming endangered as a result of increased poaching.

Having been there on the ground, unlike almost all the animal rights types who never get their feet dirty, Jackson now knows for sure that the argali sheep populations and their habitat are secure. (John ultimately won the “Argali Suit,” and the winning argument came to him while on this trip, so you could say this was “research.”)

He admits that one day they were buzzed by some US jet fighters. His guide then explained that the area they were hunting was once supposedly the site of one of Osama Bin Laden’s tent training camps. John said they saw no sign of the camp, and the jets did not come back. That was his only contact with the war.

Jackson’s sheep hunt brings up an interesting possibility for that troubled part of the world. If Afghanistan could reclaim its place as a place to hunt trophy sheep and ibex, this would inject several million dollars a year into their conservation infrastructure and provide incentives to local stewardship – an act of diplomacy as well as wildlife conservation.

In January 2013, John and his wife Chrissie will receive the prestigious 2012 Peter Capstick Award from Dallas Safari Club for their many years of service to wildlife conservation and preserving the hunting tradition.

Clearly, they deserve it.

 

 

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