Scott Flaherty, 916-978-6156
Rachel Levin, 703-358-2405
California philatelists, waterfowl hunters, birders and fans of wildlife conservation will be able to buy the new 2009-2010 Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp during special First Day of Sale events at Bass Pro Shops in Manteca, Calif., and Rancho Cucamunga, Calif., Friday, June 26. In partnership with The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops will host First Day of Sale events at 18 stores nationwide. First Day cancellations of the stamp will be available at all stores hosting an event, along with other collectibles. Details on collectible items and a list of Bass Pro locations hosting First Day of Sale events is available at: http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps .
The 2009-2010 Federal Duck Stamp features a long-tail duck and decoy painted by wildlife artist Joshua Spies of Watertown, South Dakota. Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Spies’ art to grace the new Duck Stamp from among 270 paintings at the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest in Bloomington, Minnesota. The new Junior Duck Stamp, featuring a single wood duck, was created by Lily Spang, a 16-year-old from Toledo, Ohio.
"In 1934, an innovative partnership between waterfowl hunters and the federal government created the Federal Duck Stamp Program to help provide funds for waterfowl conservation,” said Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rowan Gould. “A lot has changed since that time, but this mainstay program continues to succeed thanks to many dedicated and valued partners – from hunters to stamp collectors to conservationists, the U.S. Postal Service and private corporations such as Bass Pro.”
All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a current Federal Duck Stamp, but conservationists, birders, stamp collectors and others also buy the stamp and support habitat conservation. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetlands acquisition for the Refuge System.
Since 1934, Federal Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $700 million to acquire and protect more than 5.2 million acres of wetlands, including habitat on hundreds of the 548 national wildlife refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories. A current Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge open to the public. Refuges offer unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
Artists Spies and Spang will join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould, and Bass Pro Shops Director of Conservation Martin MacDonald during a First Day of Sale event at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail store in Nashville, Tennessee.
Since the first Federal Duck Stamp sale in 1934, a postmaster has sold the very first stamp to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Nashville Postmaster Dave Vale will continue this tradition by selling the first new Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp to Acting Director Gould.
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, visit www.fws.gov.