Conservation and preserving the environment are important tenets for Vista Outdoor. Recently, Vista entered into a partnership with the African Community & Conservation Foundation (ACCF), a non-profit organization founded with a focus on building funding and awareness for the long-term protection of iconic African wilderness areas and support for the surrounding communities who live alongside them.
ACCF’s founding partner, the Grumeti Fund, also a non-profit organization, carries out wildlife conservation and community outreach programs that address strategic issues in Africa’s Serengeti ecosystem in northern Tanzania. The Serengeti hosts the second largest mammal migration in the world and the wildlife there is under constant threat from poaching. Poachers illegally use snares and weapons to kill thousands of animals outside of the regulated and biologically driven wildlife conservation system due to the bushmeat trade, habitat encroachment, and the illegal trade of wildlife contraband such as ivory and rhino horn.
One of ACCF’s key initiatives is anti-poaching and law enforcement. The partnership supports more than 100 dedicated game scouts with a canine unit that covers more than 13,600 miles each year while on patrol. Game scouts’ duties include removing snares and seizing weapons used to illegally capture and kill animals. According to Grumeti Fund’s most recent Impact Report, the canine unit has a 77 percent success rate and the anti-poaching operation removed 1,392 snares from trees designed to capture wildlife passing, in addition to the seizure of 187 traditional weapons. Grumeti Fund also notes there were no elephants poached in the last year. Due, in part, to the success of these efforts, the Grumeti team released nine translocated eastern black rhinos back into the wild.
CEO Chris Metz explains the partnership between Vista Outdoor and the ACCF, “Vista Outdoor is an active supporter of wildlife conservation both locally and globally. ACCF and its partners work tirelessly to preserve the great animal herds of Africa. From wildlife biology to poaching enforcement, their efforts are an important element to endangered wildlife species, not only in the wider Serengeti ecosystem but also in Zimbabwe and future expansion areas like Mozambique, Zambia and others.”
Vista’s partnership with ACCF focuses on providing Grumeti’s scouts with equipment to better perform their duties. The following Vista Outdoor brands have stepped up to provide Grumeti’s game scouts with the following products:
CamelBak H.A.W.G. and Mule hydration packs
Bushnell Forge Binoculars and spotting scopes
Blackhawk jackets and tactical gear
Eagle vests and gear pouches
M-Pro 7 and Hoppe’s gun care supplies
“I wish you could have seen how excited the game scouts were to get the much-needed equipment from Vista Outdoor,” said Brady Forseth, ACCF CEO. “They have a strong sense of commitment and are grateful for Vista’s generosity that improves their day-to-day anti-poaching efforts.”
Grumeti Fund video overview (5:45)