Kevin Foerster, 530-934-2801
Entries from school-aged waterfowl artists from throughout California will be on display during the 18th Annual California Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest Wednesday, March 26, in Willows, Calif. The event begins at 9 a.m. at the Willows Memorial Hall, 516 Sycamore Street in Willows, and is open to the public.
A panel of waterfowl experts and educators will choose winners from hundreds of entries. Judges include: Kevin Foerster, refuge manager, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex (SNWRC); Greg Mensik, deputy refuge manager, SNWRC; Jake Messerli, director of Waterfowl and Wetland Programs, California Waterfowl Association (CWA); Ruth Ostroff, assistant coordinator, Central Valley Joint Venture, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Dan Efseaff, restoration ecologist, River Partners; Andy Atkinson , senior biologist, California Department of Fish and Game and Virginia Getz, manager of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp program is a national conservation and education program tailored to students in grades K-12. Teachers use curriculum to conduct classroom activities relating to conservation, wildlife art and philatelic topics. The unique program is a non-traditional pairing of art and science that spans cultural, ethnic, social and geographic boundaries to promote awareness of our nation?s natural resources. The artwork is judged in four age groups: Grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Three first place, three second place, three third place and 16 honorable mention winners will be chosen from each group. Winning designs receive plaques, savings bonds, art supplies and various other awards from the sponsors. All winners receive ribbons and certificates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and all entries receive participation certificates. California?s Best of Show will be entered into the national competition to select the 2008-09 Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Judging will be April 17, 2008 at the San Diego Zoo.
In California, the contest is directed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex and is sponsored by CWA, along with several federal, state, private and non-profit environmental conservation and education agencies.
The 100 winning California designs will be part of a display that will travel throughout California for one year. For further information on scheduling a display or a complete list of this year?s winners, please contact the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex at (530) 934-2801.
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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource 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.