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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Putting a Stamp on Conservation

The Federal Duck Stamp.  To be honest, before I started working here, I really didn’t know much about it.  Maybe you’re like me, and you don’t know there’s a national art contest to create the new Duck Stamp each year.   If you’re an artist, you may want to consider creating something for the contest.  While time might be running a little thin to submit something this year (entries must be postmarked by midnight on August 15th), maybe you’ll consider entering next year.

2011 Duck StampCurrent Duck Stamp, Artist: James Hautman

What’s the purpose of the Duck Stamp, though?  Of course art contests can be fun, but here’s what it is all about.  Aside from being required for hunting waterfowl, the Duck Stamp serves as a very important conservation tool.  Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated from Duck Stamps goes directly to buy or lease wetlands for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System, making the Duck Stamp one of the best dollar-for-dollar investments in the future of America’s wetlands.

In recent years, revenue from Duck Stamp purchases has totaled more than $25 million dollars annually.  Since it was created in 1934, the Duck Stamp has generated more than $750 million.  Those funds have helped protect more than 5.3 million acres – that’s an area about the size of New Jersey.  And Duck Stamps aren’t just for waterfowl.  Lots of other birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians – not to mention plants and insects – also benefit. (Did you know a current year Duck Stamp can get you free admission to Refuges that charge an admission fee?)

1934 Duck StampFirst Duck Stamp,1934, Artist: J.N. "Ding" Darling 

So many different people buy Duck Stamps – artists, because it’s the most prestigious wildlife art contest; hunters, as a license; birders and other outdoor enthusiasts, to invest in conservation; and stamp collectors, to add to their collections. 

If you want buy a Duck Stamp, where can you get one?  Even though you can’t use these stamps to mail a package, you can find them at U.S. Post Offices.  They’re also found at national wildlife refuges, and at lots of sporting and outdoor stores - even at stores like Walmart and Kmart.  You can also buy Duck Stamps online.

Why do you purchase your Duck Stamp?

As federal budgets are cut, this funding vehicle will become even more critical for protecting wildlands. Buy a stamp and send a message to Washington that you care about the National Wildlife Refuge and conservation!
# Posted By Barbara Volkle | 8/10/11 7:19 PM
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