Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Elk Grove Student Erica Digap Wins Best of Show at 2011 California Junior Duck Stamp Contest

Mar 26, 2011

March 26, 2011
Contact: Lora Haller, 530/934-2801


Elk Grove Student Erica Digap Wins Best of Show at 2011 California Junior Duck Stamp Contest

Student artist Erica Digap’s depiction of a snow goose was judged “Best of Show” at the 21st Annual California Junior Duck Stamp contest March 25 in Sonoma, Calif.  Digap, a student at Sheldon High School in Elk Grove, Calif., was selected from artwork submitted by more than 3,100 school-aged waterfowl artists throughout California. Digap’s winning entry will represent California at the national junior duck stamp art contest April 15 at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The national winner’s artwork will be made into the 2011-2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp.  

In California, the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is coordinated by Marilyn Gamette and facilitated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex (SNWRC).  A panel of 13 judges was tasked with selecting 100 winners. The artwork was judged in four age groups:  K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  From these groups, three 1st, three 2nd, three 3rd place, and 16 honorable mention winners were chosen.  Winning designs receive ribbons and all entrants will receive a certificate of appreciation and other awards.

In addition to the art, three conservation messages were selected from each age group to receive awards. These messages were submitted on the artwork entry form and judged for originality, understanding of wetland and waterfowl conservation, and inspiration. All 100 winning artwork entries and 12 winning conservation messages will be on display at various events throughout California for the next year.

Throughout the judging, speakers commented passionately about the generous and supportive partnerships among the organizations that provide the funding and manpower to make this program happen. This year’s judges included: Amy Hopperstad, Stone Lakes NWR, USFWS Ann Brice, associate executive director, Dave Feliz, Manager, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (California Department of Fish and Game; Dave Linehan, Refuge Supervisor, Region 8, USFWS; Desiree Soto, Administrator, California Department of Education; John Carlson Jr., president, California Waterfowl Association; John Muir Laws, artist and author; John Seto, visual arts specialist, California Arts Council; Jon Thompson, deputy sheriff, Napa County Sheriff’s Department; Lorna Bernard, Retired CDFG; Mark Biddlecomb, director of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited South Pacific Flyway; Paul McKim, assistant regional director- external affairs, Region 8, USFWS and Sonya Nechanicky, Refuge Water Conveyance Program Manager, Bureau of Reclamation.

Volunteers from the SNWRC, California Waterfowl, Central Valley Joint Venture, and San Francisco Bay Joint Venture worked on the daunting task of laying out all the artwork, tallying scores, and recording the 100 winners.  Additional major sponsors for the program include the California Rice Commission, California Department of Water Resources, and other federal, state, private, and non-profit environmental conservation and education agencies.

This year’s contest was co-hosted by Sonoma Birding and CornerStone Gallery and Gardens. CornerStone’s unique art galleries, world-renowned gardens, and distinctive sculptures provided a unique and serene setting for this very special event.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a dynamic arts curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum with participants completing a JDS design as their visual “term papers”.

The Junior Duck Stamp Program  has increased in popularity since its inception in 1989 and moreover since the implementation of a national art contest and stamp in 1993. The program was recognized by Congress in 1994 when the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act was enacted. In 2000, Congress reauthorized the program and expanded it from seventeen states to include student participants in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin in Oregon, visit .

– FWS –