Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Federal Duck Stamp Program 80th Anniversary- March 16, 2014

First Federal Duck Stamp.
Design by J.N. "Ding" Darling
courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service

The Federal Duck Stamp turns "80" on Sunday. This program is a vital tool for wetland conservation. Did you know that ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System? This is a great reason why the Federal Duck Stamp Program has been called one of the most successful conservation programs ever started.
Image Courtesy of Ducks Unlimited

The Federal Duck Stamp is required for Migratory Bird hunting, however it is not just a hunting license. People can also purchase the duck stamp as their entry pass into Natural Wildlife Refuges.

Many people also collect these stamps which have significant meaning in the realm of hunting and conservation.  Ducks Unlimited said once that it would be a good idea to purchase an extra Duck Stamp.  The money is going to be put to good use and you get to keep the extra stamp and add it to your collection.  You could look back on all the years you went hunting and see how the stamp design has changed.  What a great thing to start. 

Since its introduction in 1934, the Federal Duck Stamp program has generated more than $800 million, which has been used to purchase or lease over 6 million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States. 
You can view the entire "Stamp Law" here.

You may think that the Federal Duck stamp only benefits waterfowl, however different animals that rely on the wetlands are also greatly impacted. People who enjoy the wetlands and natural habitats also enjoy the benefits of this program. It certainly is a benefit to many different organizations.

Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest
The best part about the Federal Duck Stamp is that it is the only federally legislated art contest worldwide. Each year five species are selected for which the artists can choose from.  For 2014, the species are:
Canada Goose
Northern Shoveler
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
The contest has already begun for 2014, artists are busy preparing their works.  They can begin submitting their artwork June 1, 2014.

You can check here for the 2014 Duck Stamp Contest Rules and Regulations

Step back in time and take a look through past duck stamps. It is interesting to take a look at the various images and how wildlife art has changed.
You can check the image gallery of past duck stamps here

So, next time when you go to purchase your hunting license remember that the money for the Federal Duck Stamp gets put to good use and you as an outdoorsman or woman are supporting Conservation efforts throughout the United States. 

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe. 
Capitol Outdoors