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Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

Duck Stamp Scavenger Hunt!

By Rachel F. Levin, USFWS

On June 28, the 80th Federal Duck Stamp will go on sale. For those who don’t know what a Duck Stamp is, the best way to sum it up is that it is a powerful conservation tool packed into a 1 ¼” by 1 ¾” stamp. When you buy a $15 Duck Stamp, 98 percent of your money goes directly toward wildlife habitat conservation.

The 2013 Federal Duck Stamp. Robert Steiner, an artist from San Francisco, Calif., is the winner of the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. 

Sales of the Duck Stamp to hunters, collectors, conservationists and birders have raised more than $800 million to acquire more than 6 million acres of wildlife habitat on our national wildlife refuges. On the whole, the conservation achievement of the Federal Duck Stamp Program is impressive.


Quick Facts About Duck Stamps

Duck Stamps go on sale tomorrow!

Are you ready?

duckstampJoseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, won the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. His art has been made into the 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp. (Photo: USFWS)

Here are some fun facts to get you revved up to make your purchase! 

Did you know ....

  • Duck Stamps are not postage stamps! Besides serving as a hunting license and a conservation tool, a current year's Federal Duck Stamp also serves as an entrance pass for National Wildlife Refuges where admission is normally charged. Duck Stamps and the products that bear duck stamp images are also popular collector items.

  • Duck Stamps benefit wildlife! Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

  • Duck Stamps help kids learn about conservation! In 1989, the first Junior Duck Stamps were produced. Junior Duck Stamps are now the capstone of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Junior Duck Stamp environmental education program, teaching students across the nation "conservation through the arts." Revenue generated by the sales of Junior Duck Stamps funds environmental education programs across the country!

Learn more about how and why you should consider buying a Duck Stamp!

Reasons to Celebrate: The Refuge System's 109th Birthday

How do you mark a 109th birthday?  

In style.  

All the more so when the honoree is an American icon, respected the world-over as a conservation force and national treasure.   

Ducks in Flight, ChincoteagueDucks take off at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: Steve Hillebrand

The birth of the National Wildlife Refuge System on March 14, 1903, ensured that our children and our children’s children will inherit an America that still has natural spaces and the wild creatures.


Last Minute Gift Ideas to Benefit Conservation

We all have one on our gift list – the person who you never know what to get.  We have good news if that person on your list loves wildlife and conservation!

This holiday season, give the gift of conservation--twice!

How, you ask?

Well, order your conservation-minded friend or family member a Federal Duck Stamp and post-mark it with a with a Save Vanishing Species Stamp!

We’ve talked about the Federal Duck Stamp on Open Spaces before.  They’re a great investment in our natural world.  Since it was created in 1934, the Duck Stamp has generated more than $750 million. 


Everything You Need to Know About This Weekend's Federal Duck Stamp Contest

This Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28, and Oct. 29, we’re holding the nation’s oldest government-sponsored art contest and the most prestigious wildlife art competition - the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The winner will see his or her art made into the 2012-2013 Federal Duck Stamp, which will raise millions of dollars for conservation.

Last Year's Winning Stamp from James Hautman