Why Ogden, Utah?
While there are many communities in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have provided an outstanding home for the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, we proudly selected Ogden, UT for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:
1. Ogden is geographically situated near Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (BRMBR) and Great Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area, both of which are areas of critical importance for migratory birds.
Wetland habitats around the Great Salt Lake support millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds, raptors, passerines, and other wildlife. BRMBR is part of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and is recognized as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and Important Bird Area site. It is also considered one of the world's top ten birding sites. Fittingly, the refuge was originally acquired using Duck Stamps proceeds.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge also operates a dynamic education and outreach program and enjoys the support of an active and supportive friends group. BRMBR and Friends of the Bear River Refuge are strong supporters of the 2012 Duck Stamp Art Contest.
2. Ogden, Utah was the first Urban Migratory Bird Treaty city in the Mountain-Prairie Region.
Urban Bird Treaty cities and their partners develop and implement bird conservation projects and provide matching dollars and in-kind support. The Service provides challenge grants and technical assistance while the cities and their partners work to increase awareness of the value of migratory birds and their habitats, especially for their intrinsic, ecological, recreational, and economic significance.
The Urban Bird Treaty partnership between the USFWS and the City of Ogden was formally recognized in May 2012 and the city, Weber State University, and the local community have demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing public awareness of the needs of migratory birds and are actively promoting the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, as well as a variety of education and wildlife viewing opportunities in the area.
3. Weber State University offers a prime venue to assist in meeting our outreach goals through a number of supporting events.
Not only does the university boast 21st century amenities, but it has a proven track record for hosting high quality conventions and meetings. We also have a longstanding partnership with the school, which has provided support in the past to our Refuges, Ecological Services and Migratory Birds divisions. Hosting the 2012 Federal Duck Stamps Art Competition at Weber State University will allow the Service to engage a youthful, conservation-driven audience; share wildlife career opportunities with local university-aged students; and to develop relationships with the local Visual Arts, Biology and Education Departments in an effort to increase interest in the Duck Stamp and Jr. Duck Stamp Programs in the local area.
4. Ogden's proximity to Hill Air Force Base provides many opportunities to engage local armed service members.
As part of our contest activities, the Service plans on reaching out to our military families to provide them with information about wildlife-related career and recreational opportunities available through the Service, as well as to thank them for their service to our country.