A meeting of the minds

Every summer, outfitter associations from across North America get together to discuss common issues and to share ideas. This year’s meeting took place July 7 to 10 in Kananaskis, Alberta, where representatives from eight provinces and four states discussed everything from seals and sage grouse to Supreme Court decisions. Representatives from Safari Club International, which generously sponsors and facilitates the meetings, were also in attendance.

Outfitter associations from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Alaska all provided updates on what’s happening with the industry in their jurisdictions, before the Canadian and American groups broke up on Day 2 to discuss federal lobbying priorities in their own countries. The Canadian contingent (collectively known as the Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations) covered several important topics including the status of CITES export permits for wolves, Chronic Wasting Disease and its effect on wildlife, Transport Canada’s new rental boat safety checklist program, the new Canadian anti-spam legislation, the recent Supreme Court decision granting Aboriginal title to certain non-treaty lands in BC, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters’ Association’s long-standing attempts to lower the minimum hunting age in that province, which currently stands at a remarkable 18 years of age (it’s 12 most other places).

We find these meetings of outstanding value to the MLOA and its members. Not only do the Canadian associations collectively work on federal issues that affect all provinces, but the information sharing in terms of best practices, association management, and knowledge of what is happening elsewhere helps all the associations from having to each reinvent the wheel at every turn.  It is a fantastic sounding board for ideas and a great source of knowledge and experience that helps all those in attendance. We would like to extend our gratitude to SCI for making these meetings possible, and to our fellow sister associations for sharing such valuable information.