Erica Szlosek, 916/978-6159
The first 75th Anniversary Federal Duck Stamp was sold to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall during a special ceremony hosted today by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, near Baltimore, Maryland. Minnesota artist Joseph Hautman's depiction of a pair of Northern pintails was selected to grace the stamp.
In 1934, Postmaster William Mooney sold the very first Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, to J. N. "Ding" Darling. Darling was the first Federal Duck Stamp artist and also served as Director of the U.S. Biological Survey, the forerunner of the Service. Every year since, the first Duck Stamp sale has been made to the Director of the Service in an event that has become an eagerly anticipated annual tradition. Bass Pro Shops sponsored similar First Day of Sale events at many of its other forty-four retail stores located throughout the country.
"It's an honor to be the first in line to buy this stamp and help contribute to this unique wetlands conservation program," said Hall. "I'm proud to carry on the tradition started by Ding more than 75 years ago. Now more than ever, our nation depends on healthy wetlands and clean water for conserving waterfowl populations and ensuring healthy and safe communities. Purchasing this little stamp reaps huge dividends for our nation."
All waterfowl hunters age 16 years and older are required to purchase and carry in the field the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp, but conservationists, stamp collectors and others also purchase 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 the acquisition of wetland and associated upland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. To date, Duck Stamp funds have been used to purchase habitat at hundreds of refuges located in nearly every state in the nation. These refuges offer unparalleled recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
Winning artist Joe Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota previously won the Federal Duck Stamp contest in 1992 and 2002, and has won multiple state Duck Stamp contests as well. His brothers, Bob and Jim, are also multiple Federal Duck Stamp Contest winners. Hautman's winning art depicts two pintails -- a male and female -- nestled in the very type of wetland habitat his art will help protect.
The 2008-2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp also went on sale at the event. Eighteen-year-old Seokkyun Hong of Dallas, Texas, was the winning artist, and his depiction of a pair of Nene (Hawaiian goose) is featured on the stamp. The design for the new stamp was chosen by a panel of judges at the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, held at the San Diego Zoo this spring. Proceeds from Junior Duck Stamp sales are used to support environmental education efforts and awards for contest winners.
Duck Stamps can be purchased at hundreds of post offices across the country, as well as major sporting goods stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. For information on other Federal Duck Stamp products and buying options, please visit:
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/cno.