Federal Duck Stamps - A Conservation Tradition
A Message from Regional Director Tom Melius
For the first time since 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting the Duck Stamp Challenge -- a fun competition among regions that gives all of us the opportunity and incentive to contribute to conservation through the purchase of a Federal Duck Stamp and to environmental education through the purchase of a Junior Duck Stamp.
At $15 and $5, respectively, these miniature works of art are among the least expensive and easiest ways you can support wildlife conservation and the Service’s mission. A new was product developed this year, the Gulf of Mexico Wetland Commemorative Silk Cachet, which will benefit Gulf Coast wetlands impacted by the Deepwater Horizon MC 252 Oil Spill.
Region 6 has kept the coveted Canvasback Trophy from migrating. So your challenge is to encourage it to take flight to Region 3. To win the Trophy, we will have to have our employees purchase the greatest number of Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps. In 2005, Region 6 won with nearly a quarter of its employees buying Duck Stamps. In the interest of fair play, determination of the winning region will be based on a formula that takes into account the varied number of employees from one region to the next.
Where to Buy Federal and Junior Duck Stamps
Ten Reasons to Buy Federal Duck Stamps and Junior Duck Stamps
- There are 552 national wildlife refuges in the United States. Each is managed as a protected haven for birds and other wildlife. Since 1934, large proportion of the funds used to acquire these critical habitats in the lower 48 states was provided through sales of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps – commonly called “Duck Stamps.” All outdoor recreationists who enjoy wildlife and natural landscapes can thank those who have already purchased stamps over the decades, for they have helped protect more than 5.3 million acres of habitat for wildlife and for future generations of people.
- The Federal Duck Stamp costs only $15 and it’s easy for everyone to buy – many Post Offices, national wildlife refuges and sporting good stores carry them, as well as some discount stores, and they are also available online at http://www.duckstamps.com. Even better, Duck Stamps are extremely cost-effective: fully 98 cents out of every dollar ($14.70) goes directly to acquire land for the Refuge System. This $15 purchase is perhaps the single simplest thing one can do to support a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds. The Junior Duck Stamp, which costs $5, raises money for environmental education programs that nurture future conservationists.
- The funds not only go to refuges. Since 1958, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used a portion of the Federal Duck Stamp revenues to acquire wetland and grassland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region of the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains. Through its Small Wetlands Acquisition Program, the Service has perpetually protected and conserved nearly 3 million acres of wetland and grassland habitat for prairie wildlife for Waterfowl Production Areas or WPAs. Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, WPAs provide important benefits to migratory bird species, other wildlife, water quality, aquifer replenishment and the environment.
- The purchase of a Federal Duck Stamp is not something that will just benefit ducks. Among scores of other bird species, numerous kinds of shorebirds, long-legged waders, and wetland and grassland songbirds are dependent on habitat derived from Duck Stamp purchases.
- You can say the same about that status of other wildlife – not only birds – and water quality as benefiting from the use of the Stamp. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, all flourish through Federal Duck Stamp investments. Water quality is also strengthened.
- Some of the most diverse and wildlife-rich refuges in the nation have been acquired with Duck Stamp funds. Following are some refuges that were acquired largely with Federal Duck Stamp revenue (and the percentage paid for by Duck Stamp purchases).
Sacramento in California 99.6% Parker River in Massachusetts 99.3% Bosque del Apache in New Mexico 99.2% Pea Island in North Carolina 99.2% Quivira in Kansas 99.1% Horicon in Wisconsin 98.7% Muscatatuk in Indiana 98.9% Monomoy in Massachusetts 97.8% Bombay Hook in Delaware 95.1% Santa Ana in Texas 94.9% DeSoto in Iowa and Nebraska 90.8% Okefenokee in Georgia 88.2% Anahuac in Texas 87.5% Ottawa in Ohio 86.4% Laguna Atascosa in Texas 86.0% Edwin B. Forsythe in New Jersey 84.3% Blackwater in Maryland 77.6%
- A Federal Duck Stamp is a “free pass” for an entire year – for a vehicle full of people -- at all national wildlife refuges that charge for admission – a real bargain if ever there was one.
- The Junior Duck Stamp is the only program in the Fish and Wildlife Service with the specific goal of reaching our young people with messages about wetlands and natural resource conservation. The purchase of a $5 Junior Duck Stamp supports growing this program and reaching even more young people.
- The Junior Duck Stamp program connects children and nature by teaching children the basic concepts of waterfowl and wildlife conservation and environmental awareness in the simplest of terms.
- The Federal Duck Stamp is probably the best-kept secret in all of bird conservation. Moreover, by buying and displaying a Duck Stamp you will show that you appreciate what long-term habitat protection for all birds and other wildlife is, and that you care!
Adapted from “Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp”, compiled by Paul Baicich and Ric Zarwell.
Additional InformationA New Duck Stamp Product to Benefit Gulf Coast Wetlands