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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

June 23, 1999
Rachel F. Levin 202-208-5631
rachel_levin@fws.gov

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO UNVEIL
1999-2000 FEDERAL DUCK STAMP AT JULY 1 CEREMONY

Waterfowl artist Jim Hautman, who won the Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest a record-tying third time last November, will join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director John Rogers at a July 1 ceremony in Washington, DC, to unveil the 1999-2000 Federal Duck Stamp. The new Duck Stamp features Hautman's depiction of a pair of greater scaup against the backdrop of a windswept sea with a hunter and his dog in a boat.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum will once again serve as the backdrop for the Federal Duck Stamp First Day of Sale event. The Fish and Wildlife Service will sell Duck Stamps before and after the ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. on the lower level of the Postal Museum at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC.

Hautman, who is only the fourth artist in the 65-year history of the Duck Stamp program to win the contest three times, will be on hand to autograph stamps and Duck Stamp merchandise. Also on hand for the event will be Jim Bruns, director of the National Postal Museum; and Tom Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which prints the Federal Duck Stamp. A special postal cancellation for the new Duck Stamp will be available at this event only. It will read "Duck Stamp Station, Washington, DC 20066, July 1, 1999."

Hautman will be honored in his home state of Minnesota at the 1999 Federal Duck Stamp Classic festival, to be held July 9 in Prior Lake.

Formally known as Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, Duck Stamps are a required purchase each year for waterfowl hunters age 16 and older. However, a growing number of stamp collectors and other conservationists also purchase them as a way to contribute to wildlife and habitat conservation, making the Duck Stamp program one of the Nation's most successful conservation efforts. Money from the sale of Duck Stamps is used to acquire wetlands for the National Wildlife Refuge System, one of the world's most diverse collections of lands and waters dedicated to wildlife. To date, more than half a billion dollars in Duck Stamp sales has been used to purchase more than 5 million acres of habitat for the 517-unit refuge system.

The new Federal Duck Stamp will be available for $15 at most U.S. post offices, national wildlife refuges, Wal-Mart and K-Mart stores, and some sporting goods stores. It is also available from the Federal Duck Stamp Office by calling 1-888-534-0400 (toll-free) and by mail through the BASS ProShops sporting equipment catalogue.

Federal Duck Stamps are available in the traditional gummed format as well as a self-adhesive single-issue stamp mounted on a dollar bill-sized carrier sheet packed with information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The self-adhesive stamp is available from post office vending machines and other 24-hour access sites, and may eventually be dispensed from automatic teller machines. The Service introduced the self-adhesive format last year to be sold along with the traditional format for a 3-year trial period.

The 1999 Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest will be held November 2, 3, and 4 at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. The contest will be open for entries on July 1; all entries must be postmarked by midnight September 15. Eligible species in this year's contest are the black scoter and mottled duck. Contest rules and regulations are available from the Federal Duck Stamp Office by mail to 1849 C Street, NW., Room 2058, Washington, DC 20240; by phone at 1-888-534-0400, toll-free; or through the Internet at <http://www.fws.gov/r9dso/contreg.html>. Artists may download the entry form and submit a printed copy along with their art.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife assistance offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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