Federal Duck Stamp Office
Migratory Birds


Stamp Law

as of December, 1998

  1. The Weeks-McLean Law; 1913: addressed waterfowl management and protection. It was later repealed.

  2. The Act of July 3, 1918; The Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Affords protection from commercial exploitation to both migratory waterfowl and other species of birds. This act expanded the duties of the "Federal Game Warden" whose existence began in 1900 with the passage of the Lacey Act and continues to be a major priority today.

  3. The Act of February 18, 1929; The Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929: The law expanded the existing National Wildlife Refuge System established in 1903, and provided authorization for the acquisition of wetlands for waterfowl habitat. The law was, however, only a stop gap measure, as it made no provision for the procurement of funds with which to purchase lands.

  4. The Act of March 16, 1934; Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act as Amended: Requires every waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older to annually purchase and carry a stamp and earmarks proceeds from the sale of Duck Stamps to buy and lease waterfowl habitat. The stamps must be issued and sold by the Postal Service at (1) each first and second class Post Office, and (2) any establishment, facility, or location as the Postal Service and the Secretary of the Interior direct or authorize; and may be sold by the Department of the Interior pursuant to regulations prescribed jointly by the Postal Service and the Secretary of the Interior. Receipts from the sale of stamps must be deposited in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

  5. The Act of June 15, 1935, amended the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act: Requires validation of the hunting stamp by signature across the face of the stamp.

  6. Public Law 135; The Act of June 28, 1941: Provides that the migratory bird hunting stamps not sold at the end of each fiscal year for which issued must be turned over to the philatelic agency and placed on sale until disposed of or until the Congress otherwise provides and that such stamps shall be usable as migratory bird hunting stamps only during the fiscal year for which issued; and provided for the distribution of funds received from the sale of stamps for the acquisition of migratory bird areas.

  7. The Act of August 12, 1949; amended the 1934 Act: Provided for an increase in the price of the stamp from $1 to $2.

  8. Public Law 838; The Act of July 30, 1956: Makes it mandatory for the Postmaster General to provide for redemption of unused stamps which are on consignment to retail dealers and are returned at the end of the season in blocks of two or more; adds provision defining retail dealers; and authorizes use of migratory bird stamps only during fiscal year for which issued.

  9. Public Law 85-585; The Act of August 1, 1958: Increased the cost of a stamp from $2 to $3.; earmarked proceeds from sale of stamps, less expenses of Post Office Department, for the acquisition of migratory bird refuges, and permitted hunting of resident game birds in designated wildlife management areas.

  10. Public Law 85-921; The Act of September 2, 1958: Permits the printing or publishing of black and white illustrations of postage and revenue stamps for philatelic, educational, historical, or newsworthy purposes in articles, books, journals, newspapers, or albums (but not for advertising except illustrations of stamps in philatelic articles, books, journals, newspapers, or albums).

  11. Public Law 92-214; The Act of December 22, 1971: Authorized the collection of up to $5 for each stamp sold (to be determined by the Secretary of the Interior after considering the increased cost of lands).

  12. Public Law 94-215; 1976: Authorized the sale of stamps by the Department of the Interior and provided for deposit of receipts into Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Also provided for joint promulgation of regulations by the Postal Service and the Secretary of the Interior and the sale of stamps at any establishment, facility, or location. Substituted "September" for "June" in relation to redemption of blocks of stamps, and provided for consignments of stamps to any person (not limited to post offices and retail dealers only).

  13. Public Law 95-552; The Act of October 30, 1978: Authorized an increase in the price of the stamp to $7.50 if all sums appropriated to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund in the proceeding fiscal year were obligated.

  14. Public Law 97-307; The Act of October 14, 1982; amended the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act: Authorized the use of Duck Stamp Contest entry fees to administer the Duck Stamp Contest.

  15. Public Law 98-369; The Act of July 8, 1984; Amended the Act of 1934: Authorized color and black and white reproductions of migratory bird hunting stamps subject to terms and conditions deemed necessary by the Secretary of the Interior; and provided that any proceeds received by the Federal Government as a result of such reproduction shall be paid into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. All color reproductions must be less than three-fourths or at least one-and-one-half times the linear size of the actual stamp. (Licensing Program)

  16. Public Law 99-645; The Act of November 10, 1986; Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986: Section 201 authorizes the Secretary to charge admission permits (entrance fees) at designated units of the National Wildlife Refuge System; except that the Secretary may not require an admission permit to any person who holds a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, a valid Golden Eagle Passport, a valid Golden Age Passport, or a valid lifetime admission permit.

    Section 202 provided for an increase in the price of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp to $10 in hunting years 1987 and 1988, $12.50 in 1989 and 1990, and $15.00 in each hunting year thereafter.

  17. Public Law 100-653; The Act of November 14, 1988; The Wetlands Loan Act and Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act Amendment; amended the 1934 Act: Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to finance the marketing expenses involved in the Duck Stamp Licensing Program from the royalties derived from that program.

  18. Public Law 103-340; Signed October 6, 1994 authorized appropriations to expand implementation of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This is an educational program enabling school children across the Nation to learn about wildlife conservation. The Junior Duck Stamp is presently a collectable and is not required for hunting. Proceeds from the sale of the Junior Duck Stamp must be used for conservation education awards and scholarships to the program participants.

  19. Public Law 105-269; Signed October 19, 1998. "The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Promotion Act".

    16 USC 718(d): Promotion of Stamp Sales.

    "(1) The Secretary of the Interior may utilize funds from the sales of migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps, not to exceed $1,000,000 in each of fiscal years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, for the promotion of additional sales of those stamps, in accordance with a Migratory bird Conservation commission approved annual marketing plan. Such promotion shall include the preparation of reports, brochures, or other appropriate materials to be made available to the public that describe the benefits to wildlife derived from stamp sales."

    "(2) The Secretary of the Interior shall include in each annual report of the Commission under section 3 of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 USC 715b) a description of activities conducted under this subsection in the year covered by the report."


Last updated: January 11, 2011
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