The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that the theme of the 2019-2020 Federal Duck Stamp will be “Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.” This theme requires entrants in the 2018 Duck Stamp Contest to include one or more visual elements that reflect the contributions waterfowl hunters make to habitat conservation.
“Hunters have always been a crucial piece in conserving America’s natural resources, with the Duck Stamp being one of the greatest examples,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “It’s incredibly appropriate that this year’s contest theme would be ‘Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.’ I learned the greatest life lessons a boy could learn with a shotgun in hand from the inside of a duck blind. That tradition, through programs like the Duck Stamp, will be passed on so that future generations can add to that conservation legacy.”
2018 entrants must also adhere to existing contest regulations that require a live portrayal of one or more of the five eligible waterfowl species (wood duck, American wigeon, northern pintail, green-winged teal and lesser scaup for 2018) as the dominant foreground feature, depicted alive and clearly the focus of attention. Contestants will be judged on the quality of their art and how well they illustrate the theme. The contest winner’s art will appear on the 2019-2020 Duck Stamp.
Waterfowl hunters are among the nation’s most passionate wildlife conservationists. Through their purchase of Federal Duck Stamps, which raise money to acquire and protect habitat on national wildlife refuges, hunters help provide access to public lands, enhance habitats for all wildlife, sustain robust populations of both hunted and non-hunted species, and provide communities with an economic stimulus.
Created at the behest of waterfowl hunters, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Duck Stamp, is an ideal venue with which to celebrate our waterfowl hunting heritage.
As the only people who are required to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp annually, waterfowl hunters have been the primary supporters of the Federal Duck Stamp program and have enabled the protection of millions of acres of wetland habitats.
The Federal Duck Stamp Program is among the most popular and successful conservation programs ever initiated. While waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older are required to purchase a stamp each hunting season, anyone can buy one and contribute to conservation. Some 1.8 million stamps are sold each year, and as of 2017, Duck Stamps have generated more than $1 billion for the preservation of more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the United States. A current Duck Stamp is also a free pass into any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.
In addition to being the only conservation revenue stamp, the Duck Stamp is also unique in the way it is created. Each year, the Service holds an art contest, the only juried art competition sponsored by the Federal Government. The 2018 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be held at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Sept. 14 and 15.
For 2018, all selected contest judges will have an understanding and appreciation of America’s waterfowl hunting heritage and be able to recognize scenery or objects related to waterfowl hunting.
In addition to the changes specific to 2018, the Service will also make permanent revisions to the scientific names of species on the list of contest design subjects.
Full 2018 Federal Duck Stamp Contest regulations and information about the contest are at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/duck-stamp-contest-and-event-information.php.
Source: US Fish and Wildlife Service