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US Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Student Applicants for Centennial Junior Duck Stamp Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2002

Contact:
Mike Hobbs, 706 613-9493 X36 -- 706 202-2467 Cell
Deborah Harris, 706 613-9493 X24
Editor: see bottom of text for image of artwork

Junior Duck Stamp Art competition promotes wildlife conservation through art education. National scholarship awards nearly doubled this year including $4,000.00 for first place. Contest is part of 100th Anniversary for National Wildlife Refuge System. 750 Entries in 2002 Competition in Georgia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now seeking student applicants for its 2003 Junior Duck Stamp competition. Georgia’s student artists, grades kindergarten to high school, can compete for recognition, prizes and scholarships, but more importantly, also help promote conservation of America’s waterfowl and other species. There’s also the unique opportunity in 2003 to join the 100th anniversary celebration of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

“Perhaps this will be the year,” says Debbie Harris, USFWS Georgia coordinator for the Junior Duck Stamp Program. “We came so close last year to making the top slot nationwide. We know from past experience that Georgia’s kids create great work, but to top it off, Candice Cline came so close last April in Washington.”

All artwork submitted must be a 9” by 12” horizontal image of North American ducks, geese or swans. Loons and mute swans are not eligible. With the encouragement from teachers and parents, over 750 Georgia students participated last year in four age categories. The state’s Best-of-Show entry then competed nationally in Washington, D.C., successfully gaining an Honorable Mention in the ranking of 51 entries from across the country.

“It’s a joint effort between students and teachers,” Harris emphasizes, “with each state’s winner, the art teacher and one parent getting to travel free to the national competition.” State level entries compete for cash awards and prizes offered by organizations including Georgia Power, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Wildlife Federation. During the national competition, entrants will compete in Washington for scholarships of $4000.00, $2000.00 and $1000.00.

Georgia’s Junior Duck Stamp contest is part of the nation-wide Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program. Created by the U.S. Congress in 1994 and based upon the “adult” Federal Duck Stamp Program, Junior Duck Stamps promote waterfowl habitat conservation through art education. Teachers may use an integrated art and science curriculum provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Each student then submits a “visual” term paper for review by a panel of judges.

“I found out that I had won the contest over spring break,” stated Candice Cline last spring. The then 18-year-old Woodland High School student in Cartersville was told her rendering of Canadian Geese was picked as Georgia’s Best-of-Show. After winning several prizes including a $200.00 cash award, Candice’s artwork next received Honorable Mention during competition at the national level in Washington, D.C.

For some participants, the Junior Duck Stamp competition can be an initial step for a career in art. Ryan Perry, Washington State’s 1997 best of state winner is today a professional wildlife artist. Becky Laham of Minnesota won second place in the 1998 national junior competition, and captured second place in last year’s “adult” Federal Duck Stamp contest. Laham also won the 2003 Minnesota Wild Turkey Stamp Competition. Adam Grimm, whose mottled duck image graces the 2000-2001 Federal Duck Stamp, is also a former Junior Duck Stamp winner from the state of Ohio.

While the Junior Duck Stamp Program encourages conservation education, the “adult” Federal Duck Stamp Program was created decades earlier to buy land for habitat preservation. Since 1934, hunters have purchased a Federal Duck Stamp before hunting waterfowl. Through the decades, ninety-eight cents of every dollar spent has helped acquire over five million acres of wildlife habitat.

Young artists can easily remember the 2002-2003 deadline in Georgia—March 15th, 2003. That’s just one day after refuges and media across the country celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System. One hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt set aside Pelican Island, Florida as a wildlife refuge on March 14th, 1903.

Created to counter declining bird populations, Pelican Island became the first of fifty national wildlife refuges authorized during President Roosevelt’s administration. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages over 535 refuges, supporting 700 bird species, 220 mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, 200 species of fish and numerous plant species.

The winning young artist in Georgia may choose a deluxe tour through one of five national wildlife refuges, including either Okefenokee in southeast Georgia, Piedmont and Bond Swamp near Macon, Eufaula on the Alabama line or the Savannah Coastal Refuges on Georgia’s Atlantic shoreline.

Entries with official forms should be mailed to Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 247 South Milledge Avenue, Athens, Georgia 30605. Call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 706 613-9493 Ext. 35 to request entry forms or go to http://www.fws.gov/r4gafo/, locate the left, blue vertical bar and click on Outreach and Education.

Georgia’s 100 contest winners, including a copy of Candice Cline’s winning piece, are currently on tour throughout Georgia during the remainder of 2002 into early 2003. This tour schedule and digital images of Georgia’s winners can be seen at http://www.fws.gov/r4gafo/outreach.html.

Stamp collectors may purchase the 2002 Junior Duck Stamp and the 2002 Federal Duck Stamp by calling 1-800-STAMP-2-4 or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service at www.usps.com.



Editors: Artwork image at http://www.fws.gov/r4gafo/jrduckstamp2002/Group_IV/cline_c_IV.JPG

 



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2001 News Releases

   
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