Duck Stamp pro­gram con­tin­ues suc­cess­ful con­ser­va­tion goal

Record Observer - - Sports -

Fly­ing Canada geese glo­rify the 2017-2018 Fed­eral Mi­gra­tory Bird Hunt­ing and Conser va­tion Stamp, which is now avail­able. The 84th Fed­eral “Duck” Stamp de­buted at an event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice at Bass Pro Shops Out­door World in Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas.

Painted by James Haut­man of Chaska, Min­nesota, the new stamp will raise mil­lions of dol­lars for habi­tat con­ser­va­tion to ben­e­fit wildlife and the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

Since 1934, sales of the stamp have raised more than $950 mil­lion to con­serve nearly six mil­lion acres of wet­lands habi­tat on na­tional wildlife refuges around the na­tion.

“The Amer­i­can sports­men her­itage is not just some­thing we talk about. Sports­men and an­glers are the strong­est wildlife and habi­tat con­ser­va­tion­ists around, and the Duck Stamp is the per­fect ex­am­ple of this,” U.S. Sec­re­tary of the In­te­rior Ryan Zinke said. “The stamp’s im­pact goes be­yond wa­ter­fowl; it also helps pro­vide habi­tat for hun­dreds of species of wildlife and clean water for our com­mu­ni­ties. The lands set aside us­ing Duck Stamp dol­lars pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Amer­i­can peo­ple to en­joy the great out­doors through hunt­ing, fish­ing, and bird­watch­ing, and help en­sure this piece of Amer­i­can her­itage will en­dure for gen­er­a­tions.”

Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Haut­man’s art from among 152 en­tries in the 2016 Fed­eral Duck Stamp Art Con­test.

“The Fed­eral Duck Stamp is the na­tion’s most unique and suc­cess­ful con­ser­va­tion stamp. This pro­gram has been fu­eled largely by wa­ter­fowl hun­ters, who are re­quired to buy a Duck Stamp each year and of­ten buy more than one,” said Greg Shee­han, USFWS act­ing di­rec­tor. “Bird­ers and other out­doors en­thu­si­asts, artists, and stamp col­lec­tors also buy Duck Stamps, rec­og­niz­ing their ben­e­fit to species and habi­tat con­ser­va­tion be­yond wa­ter­fowl, as well as their artis­tic value.”

Ninety-eight per­cent of the pro­ceeds from the $25 Duck Stamp go to the Mi­gra­tory Bird Con­ser­va­tion Fund, which sup­ports wet­lands con­ser­va­tion for the Na­tional Wildlife Refuge Sys­tem.

A cur­rent Fed­eral Duck Stamp is also good for free ad­mis­sion to any na­tional wildlife refuge that charges an en­try fee.

The new Duck Stamps are avail­able for pur­chase on­line, at many sport­ing goods and re­tail stores, and some post of­fices and na­tional wildlife refuges.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Som­er­set Post 94 catcher Bruce Emely looks to tag out Queen Anne’s-Kent’s Johnny Sams in the sec­ond in­ning of Game 2 Satur­day af­ter­noon at Queen Anne’s County High School.

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