The cost of a Federal Duck Stamp will be increased starting with the 2015-16 waterfowl season.
The new stamp will cost $25, and funds generated by the Stamp will benefit ducks, endangered species, and critical habitat.
Duck hunters, environmentalists, and conservation groups agree that an increase is necessary. Loss of habitat is one of the leading threats to wildlife nationwide.
Ducks Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association understand the need for more funding that preserves wild places. Both organizations are actively engaged in projects that restore crucial habitat.
“The increase in the price of the Federal Duck Stamp was long overdue, as it had not been adjusted in over 20 years. The additional funds generated will help support the establishment of conservation easements on private land, which have proven a critical waterfowl conservation tool both in California and across the country,” said Mark Hennelly, Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Public Policy for California Waterfowl.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, also known as Duck Stamps, were first issued in 1934. At that time, waterfowl and critical habitat were under siege and in danger. The stressors of a growing continental human population, coupled with a protracted drought, were taking their toll. Concerned conservationists and hunters saw the need to take action.
The result of this action was the establishment of the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. This Act required that waterfowl hunters over age 16 purchase a Duck Stamp. To this day, Federal Duck Stamps continue to be vital tools for wetlands conservation. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by stamp sales is used to directly purchase or lease habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of habitats that benefits plants, birds, and animals. Additionally, refuges provide opportunities for amazing outdoors experiences, including hunting, fishing, birding, and boating. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that “one-third of the Nation’s endangered and threatened species find food or shelter in Refuges established using Federal Duck Stamp funds.”
Rachel Carson, world-renowned environmentalist, began her career with the agency that was the precursor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve. She recognized the important role the National Wildlife Refuge System plays in preserving critical habitat.
In the introduction to her Conservation in Action series, a study of the NWRS, Ms. Carson wrote: “Wild creatures, like men, must have a place to live. As civilization creates cities, builds highways, and drains marshes, it takes away, little by little, the land that is suitable for wildlife. And as their space for living dwindles, the wildlife populations themselves decline. Refuges resist this trend by saving some areas from encroachment, and by preserving in them, or restoring where necessary, the conditions that wild things need in order to live.”
Since 1934, over $800 million has been raised by sales of the Federal Duck Stamp. This money has been used to preserve over six million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States.