MEMPHIS—August 22, 2014— Eighty years ago, the first Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) was sold. Since then, the Duck Stamp program has protected nearly 6 million acres of habitat through expenditures of more than $900 million.
Hunters over the age of 16 are required to purchase a Duck Stamp to hunt migratory waterfowl. Birders and other outdoor enthusiasts buy Duck Stamps to contribute to the future of our wildlife resources. Revenue from Duck Stamp sales is used to acquire wetlands and other habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge system.
The price of the Duck Stamp has been raised only seven times, and it has been 24 years since the last increase—the single longest period without a price increase in the program’s history. While the Duck Stamp price remains stagnant, the cost to conserve land and habitats that host waterfowl and other species has increased dramatically. At its current price, the conservation investment power of the stamp has never been lower. The bipartisan Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which is now under consideration by Congress, would raise the price of the Duck Stamp from $15 to $25.
“The Duck Stamp is one of the most important conservation stories of the past century,” said Paul Schmidt, Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited. “The best way to celebrate this 80-year anniversary is to go out and buy a stamp, because 98 cents of every dollar from duck stamp receipts goes to conserve wetlands and associated habitats. And, as we celebrate the conservation successes of this program, it’s also important that we support current efforts to raise the price of the Duck Stamp. It is vital that the cost of the stamp keep up with the cost of securing habitat. That way, we can ensure additional successes for this historic conservation program in the future.”
When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act into law in March of 1934, the Duck Stamp program became a reality. Artist and conservationist Jay N. “Ding” Darling created the artwork that adorned the first stamp, which went on sale in August 1934 for $1. In that inaugural year, 635,001 Duck Stamps were sold.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.