In the United States and abroad, hunters say they play a critical role in wildlife conservation, funding environmental preservation initiatives and participating in the ecosystem via controlled and humane hunts. But critics say that the idea that we should hunt endangered species to save them, whether via trophy hunts (ie Cecil the Lion) or targeting specific animals identified as dangerous to their species (like certain black rhinos), is barbaric. Closer to home, when displaced deer populations collide with cars or play a role in spread of Lyme Disease, hunting skeptics say there is always a non-lethal solution to the problem. Whether it’s happening overseas or in our backyards, is hunting a humane way to maintain animal equilibrium and habitats, or are there better alternatives? On Wednesday, May 4, the “always intelligent and provocative” (Wall Street Journal) Intelligence Squared U.S. continues their tenth anniversary year with a live debate on the motion “Hunters Conserve Wildlife.”

Arguing for the motion are a longtime hunting enthusiast and a non-hunting conservationist: Editor-in-Chief of Field & Stream Anthony Licota and the COO for the Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants, Catherine Semcer. Opposing them and debating against the motion are the CEO & President of The Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, and “compassionate conservation” expert Adam Roberts, founder of Born Free USA.

The debate will be held at New York’s Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On May 4, online viewers can tune in here:

( or via IQ2’s app (

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Hunters Conserve Wildlife”

WHEN: Wed, May 4, 2016 / Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:15 PM

WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit

Arguing for the motion:

Anthony Licata: Editor-in-Chief, Field & Stream

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.

Catherine Semcer: COO, Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants

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.

Arguing against the motion:

Wayne Pacelle: CEO & President, The Humane Society of the United States

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.

Adam Roberts: CEO, Born Free USA & Born Free Foundation

Adam M. Roberts, based in Washington, D.C., 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. 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.

A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts and interactive digital content. It is one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes, and has won the 2014 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Feature Program and three consecutive 2013-2015 New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world’s top thinkers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Krugman, Laura Ingraham, Nicholas Carr, Arianna Huffington, Peter Thiel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Andrew Solomon, and Hannah Rosin. With over 100 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

Image Courtesy Intelligence Squared U.S.

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One thought on “Watch the “Hunters Conserve Wildlife” Debate Live Here

  1. Just what are they debating ? The fact of the matter is this : without sportsmen hunters there would be little or no wildlife left in the lower forty-eight of these United States . The national park system was started by a sportsman hunter , President Theodore Roosevelt . In my state of Pennsylvania , the laws protecting wildlife and the monies used to provide the precious land set aside for wildlife were enacted at the request of sportsmen . The first laws to clean our streams and preserve those still unspoiled came about because of sportsmen . The contributions of the anti -hunting conservationists are about a half-century later , far fewer and generally taxpayer funded ,unlike the fish and game protection funded by fees paid by sportsmen .
    I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding achievement of a pioneer accomplishment of a private sanctuary become public to protect migrating raptors and eagles ,Hawk Mountain Sanctury . It was and is a conservation jewel , initiated by a visionary who forbade hunting on this very important migratory location . As a life-long sportsman hunter and fisherman who would conserve wildlife , I salute the accomplishment that is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary .
    If the aim of the anti-hunting conservationists is to stop hunting and fishing in the name of conservation , I ask what form of financing they would use to replace funds from sportsmen . Will they insist that taxpayers pay for the shortfall they cause ? I think they would be unwilling to replace those funds themselves and taxpayers are already overburdened by spendthrift government programs .

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