Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
There is a sound in the wetlands this morning, that not every birder loves...and that is understandable. Today is the youth hunt in Utah, and the Refuge is proud to host some excellent hunt areas to allow these young sportsman to learn waterfowl ID and sportsmanship. Each one of our young hunters will have paid $15 for a duck stamp..as well as their parents that are with them. $14.80 of each stamp goes directly for purchasing or lease of wetlands so very needed by our migratory birds. It is for this reason I prefer to call it not the hunting stamp or even just the duck stamp...but the birding stamp.
I urge all birders who enjoy birding on public lands and refuges around the country to purchase a Federal Duck stamp each year - even if you do not support hunting. It is about MUCH more than that. Many of our Refuges (like Bear River) are free of charge and many of our Refuge parcels were acquired with duck stamp funds. The duck stamp is not only one of the most efficient funding sources for conservation in the United States, it is a great educational tool as well. The Jr. Duck Stamp program gives kids the chance to learn more about waterfowl and conservation through art. Many birders wear their duck stamps proudly and get asked about them. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to tell other birders about this great program. I like to give them as gifts...especially to my friends and family who really have all they need - I give them the gift of helping and caring about our wetlands and waterfowl...not to mention a beautiful stamp that can be turned into a pin or keychain so very easily.
So during the upcoming season . . . consider giving a gift that will continue to help ensure the birding spots that we all love will still be there in years to come.