May 11, 2020

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Changes Duck Stamp Requirements to Recognize Hunters’ Contribution to Waterfowl Conservation

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) finalized changes to the Federal Migratory Bird Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) to further recognize the significant role that sportsmen and women play in conserving migratory waterfowl.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually holds a public art competition that determines the artwork selected for each year’s stamp. Specifically, the Service is requiring Duck Stamp artwork submissions to include one or more elements that is consistent with “celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.” This change is a clear demonstration of the Department of the Interior’s commitment to promote and advance our nation’s sporting heritage. By requiring this theme, the Service is recognizing the role of hunters as the primary contributors in raising over $1.1 billion for waterfowl habitat conservation through the sale of Duck Stamps.

“At a time when a vast majority of birds across the U.S. are declining at alarming rates, waterfowl species have actually increased by 56% since 1970 as a direct result of conservation programs, such as the Federal Duck Stamp Program. Ninety-eight percent of the purchase price for the Federal Duck Stamp goes directly to on-the-ground wetland habitat conservation efforts, which makes this program one of the best returns on investment to conserve critical habitat,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “Waterfowl hunters have long been the primary funders of wetland conservation, and we are grateful the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to recognize the significant financial contributions of sportsmen and women.”

These revised contest rules went into effect May 8, 2020.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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