November 5, 1997

Rachel F. Levin 202-208-5634

Diana Hawkins

Vicki Boatwright



The 1997 Federal Duck Stamp Art contest will feature more than just a multitude of colorful renderings of Barrow's goldeneyes, black scoters, and mottled ducks in oils, acrylics, and water colors. This year, the collection of 382 beautiful paintings competing against each other for one of wildlife art's top prizes will meet up with a formidable competitor--live waterfowl in the form of the Peabody Orlando Hotel's famed marching mallards.

The judges who will choose the 1998 Federal Duck Stamp may get some hints from those five farm-raised experts when it comes time to vote on the winning design, to be featured on the 1998-99 Duck Stamp, which goes on sale July 1, 1998.

Following the lead of their ace trainer, Mark Hirchert, the five Peabody ducks will make a splashy Washington, DC, debut in the Interior Department auditorium November 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the opening ceremonies of the annual design competition.

The Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsors the Federal Duck Stamp Contest to select the design for the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (or Duck Stamp), which raises money for the purchase of waterfowl habitat. Federal Duck Stamps are a required annual purchase for waterfowl

hunters 16 years of age and older and are sold for $15 at U.S. post offices, national wildlife refuges, and sporting goods stores, as well as at K-Mart and Wal-Mart. Duck Stamps also are increasingly popular among stamp collectors, wildlife artists, and others who wish to contribute to wildlife and habitat conservation.

Since 1934 when the Duck Stamp program was created, sales have reached nearly half a billion dollars, 98 percent of which has been used to acquire more than 4.5 million acres of wetlands habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

"Buying a Duck Stamp remains one of the easiest, most effective ways for people to contribute to wildlife conservation," said Service Director Jamie Rappaport Clark. "And while waterfowl hunters remain a pillar of support for the Duck Stamp program, purchases by non-hunters have increased in the last few years, underscoring not only the American public's commitment to wildlife conservation, but also the success of the Federal Duck Stamp itself."

The famous quacking quintet will appear at the Duck Stamp Contest thanks to a unique partnership between the Service and the Peabody Orlando, which agreed last year to include the Federal Duck Stamp in its efforts to raise awareness about waterfowl and deliver conservation messages to guests and the community. Now visitors to the Florida hotel can purchase a $15 Duck Stamp after they watch the mallards frolic in the lobby fountain.

"During the past year, our partnership with the Peabody has helped us spread our wildlife conservation message in a unique--and entertaining--way," said Robert Lesino, chief of the Federal Duck Stamp Program. "We're delighted to welcome the famed Peabody Ducks to the Nation's Capital and we're thrilled that they will be on hand to help the Duck Stamp contest take wing."

The Peabody Orlando and its sister hotel, the Peabody Memphis, are both world-famous for their fountain-dwelling, farm-raised mallards and duck-themed decor. Beginning with a prank in the 1930s, when the manager of Peabody Memphis and his hunting partner placed their live duck decoys in the fountain, the hotels' waterfowl theme now extends to duck-shaped soaps, butter pats, and stationery, as well as eateries named "Dux" and "Quackers."

A Diverse Panel of Judges for the 1997 Contest

Duck Stamp Contest judges are chosen each year from the wildlife art and/or conservation community. Douglas Grann, executive director of Wildlife Forever, an organization dedicated to preserving America's wildlife heritage, will serve as one of the five judges who select the 1997 Federal Duck Stamp.

Grann, former executive vice president and director of operations for Voyageur Art and the National Wild Turkey Federation, is also currently an officer or board member with several conservation organizations including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Quail Unlimited, and the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America. He has served as a judge in numerous conservation-related art competitions.

The other four judges are:

Karen R. Hollingsworth, a nature photographer and publisher of books on the National Wildlife Refuge System. Karen and her late husband, John, spent many years photographing the beauty and extraordinary diversity of habitats and species on more than 400 of the 511 national wildlife refuges in the Nation. Today, both are nationally known for their unique contribution to public education and awareness of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and Karen continues to photograph and publish.

Emily C. Pels, a graphic artist who is currently the art director of the Virginia Wildlife Magazinefor the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. She has won numerous awards for her work with the magazine and she also works privately as a freelance artist and designer.

Husband-and-wife ornithologists Donald and Lillian Stokes. They have co-authored numerous books including the Stokes Field Guide to Birds.

Minnesota Leads the Way in Contest Entrants

Once again this year, the state of Minnesota leads the way in the number of Duck Stamp Contest entrants. Thirty-five of

this year's hopeful artists hail from Minnesota, more than from any other state. Other states with high numbers of Duck Stamp Contest entrants include Pennsylvania (26), California (24), and Wisconsin and Michigan (18 apiece).

The winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest receives no cash award from the Federal Government; however, the contest is highly competitive because winning boosts the reputation of even a previously unknown artist to the top of his or her profession. And winning artists stand to make hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of limited edition prints of their Duck Stamp design.

The Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest is free and open to the public. This year, the 382 design entries will be displayed for viewing and judging at the Interior Department auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC, at the following times:

Tuesday, November 4: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Viewing
Wednesday, November 5: 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Viewing/Judging
Thursday, November 6: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Viewing/Judging*
*The winner will be announced at approximately 12:30 p.m.

In addition, Duck Stamp licensed products, including posters, T-shirts, mugs, calendars, caps, and other items featuring Duck Stamp designs will be available for sale in the Interior Department lobby. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these products are used for wetlands acquisition.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Service manages 68 national fish hatcheries. It enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, stocks recreational fisheries, conserves and restores wetlands and other wildlife habitat, protects and restores endangered species, and helps foreign governments with conservation efforts.

Media Advisory/Photo Opportunities:

The Peabody Ducks will arrive at National Airport Monday, November 3, and will march from Terminal C, baggage claim exit area 12 (end of the concourse), to their waiting limousine at 3:15 p.m.

The Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be open to the public during the following times:

Tuesday, November 4: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Viewing
Wednesday, November 5: 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Viewing/Judging
Thursday, November 6: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Viewing/Judging

The Peabody Ducks will parade into the Interior Department auditorium, located inside the C Street entrance to the Interior building, between 18th and 19th streets, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 5.

The winner of the 1997 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be announced at around 12-12:30 p.m. Thursday.


Release #r97-99

(Fact Sheet)


Contest entries: 382

Male Artists: 302 79.06%

Female Artists: 80 20.94%

Acrylic 227 59.42%

Oil 72 18.85%

Water Color 29 7.59%

Scratch Board 4 1.05%

Other 50 13.09%

Barrow's Goldeneye 264 69.11%

Mottled Duck 78 20.42%

Black Scoter 40 10.47%

(Fact Sheet)


Alabama 7 1.83% Missouri 2 0.52%
Alaska 5 1.31% Montana 12 3.14%
Arizona 3 0.79% Nebraska 4 1.05%
Arkansas 8 2.09% Nevada 4 1.05%
California 24 6.28% New Hampshire 1 0.26%
Colorado 12 3.14% New Jersey 9 2.36%
Connecticut 2 0.52% New Mexico 1 0.26%
Delaware 1 0.26% New York 15 3.93%
Florida 17 4.45% North Carolina 6 1.57%
Georgia 8 2.09% Ohio 14 3.66%
Hawaii 1 0.26% Oklahoma 4 1.05%
Idaho 3 0.79% Oregon 8 2.09%
Illinois 6 1.57% Pennsylvania 26 6.81%
Indiana 7 1.83% South Carolina 3 0.79%
Iowa 6 1.57% South Dakota 4 1.05%
Kansas 2 0.52% Tennessee 5 1.31%
Kentucky 2 0.52% Texas 12 3.14%
Louisiana 5 1.31% Utah 4 1.05%
Maine 1 0.26% Vermont 6 1.57%
Maryland 15 3.93% Virginia 10 2.62%
Massachusetts 11 2.88% Washington 11 2.88%
Michigan 18 4.71% West Virginia 1 0.26%
Minnesota 35 9.16% Wisconsin 18 4.71%
Mississippi 1 0.26% Wyoming 2 0.52%

1997 News Releases

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