In a few short weeks, the new Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (also known as Federal Duck Stamp) will be released. The 2012-2013 stamp is being released for sale on 29 June. This $15 Stamp shows a lovely male Wood Duck, painted by Joe Hautman.
Of course, it is a revenue stamp that all waterfowl hunters in the U.S. – over the age of 16 – must purchase and carry with them in the field. But the Stamp is far much more than that.
It is also a vital conservation fund-raiser because the proceeds from Stamp sales help purchase and protect wetland and grassland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Through the Stamp and since the 1930s, over $750 million has been collected, and 5.3 million acres of habitat has been protected, for birds and other wildlife and for the enjoyment of future generations of Americans.
There are some very good reasons to buy the Stamp:
- Conservationists buy the Stamps because they know that the Stamp is, dollar for dollar, one of the best investments one can make in the future of America’s wetlands and grasslands.
- Artists buy them because the Federal Duck Stamp Contest is one of the most prestigious wildlife art contests and a way for wildlife artists to show their work and support conservation.
- Waterfowl hunters are required to buy a Stamp, but they also know that their purchase helps acquire prime habitat for ducks and geese to feed, breed, rest, and nest.
- Birders and other outdoor enthusiasts annually purchase the Stamps to gain free admission to national wildlife refuges and support conservation.
- Stamp collectors buy the Stamps because the Stamps are sought-after collectibles.
- Wetlands and grasslands acquired with Duck Stamp dollars help purify water, aid in flood control, reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, and provide spawning areas for fish important to sport and commercial fishermen.
These reasons are all part of the drive behind the new Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, which has just gone live with a website.
Give it a look, and consider joining the group: www.Friendsofthestamp.org