The Federal Duck Stamp – Buying Land for Wildlife

Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest

2014 Duck Stamp

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as “Duck Stamps,” are not your typical stamps. They are not valid for postage. Instead, the money from the sale of Duck Stamps is used to buy wetlands and grasslands for waterfowl (ducks and geese) and many other species of birds. Believe it or not, 98 percent of every Duck Stamp purchased goes to protecting wildlife habitat. That’s $14.70 of every $15.00 stamp!

The Federal Duck Stamp Story

The "Moth Birds"

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Waterfowl Production Areas provide habitat for more than waterfowl. Several species of raptors and owls are commonly spotted on Northwest Montana Flathead County Wetland Management District WPAs. Northern Harriers (day-time “moth-like bird”) and Short-Eared Owls (night-time “moth-like bird”) are two important grassland/wetland birds that are easy to identify. These two birds share the same habitat but at different times during each day.

The "Moth" Birds

Visit Flathead County WPAs

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There are five WPAs located in Flathead County. Although all WPAs are wetland and grassland areas purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps, each WPA is unique in its own way. Follow the link to explore each of these special areas which are managed primarily for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory water-dependent birds.

WPA Information

Hunting Regulations

Hunting is permitted on all of Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County WPAs. Please review our Hunting Regulations as each WPA may be different.

Rules and Regulations
Waterfowl Production Areas

Waterfowl Production Areas

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Waterfowl production areas, or WPAs, are little known, but important components of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Like refuges, they protect habitat for wildlife, but the primary purpose of WPAs is to protect wetlands and grasslands for waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans). For that reason, WPAs are located primarily in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Northwest Montana Wetland Management District Flathead County is part of the 5% of WPAs not found in the prairie wetlands of the Dakotas, Minnesota and eastern Montana. Western Montana WPAs serve an important role for migrating birds.

What is a Waterfowl Production Area?

About the Complex

National Bison Range Complex

Northwest Montana Flathead County Wetland Management District is managed as part of the National Bison Range Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS