Midwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Small Wetlands, Big Mission: Small Wetlands Program Exhibit Unveiled at 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest

Deputy Regional Director Charles Wooley and Regional Director Tom Melius check out the Small Wetlands Program Exhibit during the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest at the National Conservation Training Center
Deputy Regional Director Charles Wooley and Regional Director Tom Melius check out the Small Wetlands Program Exhibit during the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest at the National Conservation Training Center

What do wetlands and prairies have to do with a stamp? Simply put, everything! One of our nation's most efficient and effective conservation programs would not exist without the Federal Duck Stamp. Visitors to the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) now have to opportunity to learn how their Duck Stamp dollars have been fueling, and continue to fuel, restoration and preservation work across America's heartland.

During the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest at NCTC in Shepherdstown, WVa., on October 28 and 29, the Small Wetlands Program exhibit was unveiled. 'Small Wetlands, Big Mission' A seemingly small, but rather large part, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservation effort was unveiled during this year's contest and was a natural compliment to the event.

Surrounded by exhibits that honor Service employees and programs that have changed the conservation community for the better, the Small Wetlands Program exhibit is part of the foundation of the Service. As the public celebrated the Duck Stamp contest, it was only fitting that the Service also celebrate the program that the Ducks Stamp helps to fund throughout the nation's heartland of the upper Midwest and Northern Great Plains—The Small Wetlands Program.

The vision for the Small Wetlands Program emerged in the 1940s when Waubay National Wildlife Refuge Manager Fred Staunton began documenting significant reductions in waterfowl populations. Staunton and many others believed these population losses were the direct result of massive wetland drainage programs across our prairie landscape and that something needed to be done to ebb the tide. Learn more about his efforts and other Service employees on your next visit to NCTC.

Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., won this year's contest with his acrylic painting of a single Wood duck and his winning design will be made into the 2012-2013 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or "Duck Stamp," the cornerstone of one of the world's most successful conservation programs.

Check out pics of the exhibit and Duck Stamp Art Contest: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/sets/72157628008186528/

Learn more about the Small Wetlands Program: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/smallWetlands/

Learn more about Duck Stamps: http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/

Last updated: February 12, 2013