Whether in America's state game lands or the African brush, hunting has become one of the most hotly debated issues in the media and online. Internationally, the killing of Cecil the lion triggered a firestorm of criticism over trophy hunting rules and regulations. Central to the debate here in the U.S. is the white-tailed deer. Its overpopulation has caused millions in property damage, over browsing in forests, and the spread of Lyme disease. Many believe that regulated hunting can be an effective way to manage healthy populations of deer and other wildlife. And with the funds raised from legal hunting-the purchase of permits in Africa, licenses and taxes here in the U.S.-hunters have contributed significantly to conservation efforts on both public and private lands. But hunting's critics question whether big game revenues really benefit local communities and whether hunting could ever be a humane way to maintain equilibrium and habitats. Is hunting wrong? Or are hunters conservationists?
Anthony Licata is the editor-in-chief of Field & Stream, America’s largest outdoor sports magazine brand, with an audience of over 9 million hunters and fishermen. A widely respected authority on hunting and fishing, he has been with the magazine, in various positions, for nearly 20 years. Under his leadership, Field & Stream earned its first-ever National Magazine Award (in 2009 for general excellence). Licata is also the editorial director of the Men’s Group at the Bonnier Corporation, where he previously served as the editorial director of outdoor brands. In his current position, he oversees Field & Stream, Popular Science, Cycle World, Outdoor Life, Popular Photography, SHOT Business, and American Photo.
Wayne Pacelle is president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), named by Forbes as one of the largest charities in the U.S. During his tenure, Pacelle has more than doubled the size of the organization, and its impact is felt throughout the U.S. and increasingly throughout the world. The HSUS is the largest provider of direct care services to animals, and it is also the nation's highest-impact advocacy organization for animals. He has helped pass more than 1,000 state laws to advance the organization's mission and negotiated agreements with dozens of the nation's biggest corporations, from McDonald's to Walmart to Armani. Pacelle writes for a number of publications, most recently, Foreign Affairs, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them. His next book, to be released in April, is called The Humane Economy. He received his B.A. in history and environmental studies from Yale University.
Adam M. Roberts
Adam M. Roberts, based in Washington, D.C., is the CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation. He helped launch Born Free USA in 2002 to bring the UK-based foundation's message of compassionate conservation to the American public. Roberts has significant expertise and more than two decades of experience in international wildlife trade and captive wild animals, and serves on the board of directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN), which is dedicated to ensuring that the international wildlife trade does not cause overexploitation of animals and plants. He is also a founding member and current chairman of the board of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Roberts began his animal protection career in Washington, D.C. in 1991. A recognized authority on compassionate conservation and the protection of all animals, he has written and spoken in international forums, and is regularly interviewed about animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues.
Catherine E. Semcer is a dedicated conservationist and experienced non-profit leader. As the COO of Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants (H.O.P.E.), Semcer oversees the delivery of world-class training, advisory, assistance, and procurement services to anti-poaching programs working in some of Africa’s most remote wildlands. Through her consultancy, Artemis Strategic Advisors, she provides clients with innovative influence and information solutions. She is also a member of the Sustainable Use Livelihoods Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and she led a research project that was included in the first comprehensive, peer-reviewed analysis of the role of hunting in North American Wildlife Conservation.