Washington, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- Goldeneyes are taking center stage for hunters, conservationists and stamp collectors as the new Federal Duck Stamp goes on sale today.
The 80th Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp made its debut at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail outlet in Ashland, Va.
“As a stamp collector, I am honored to buy the very first 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp today,” said Rowan Gould, the Service’s deputy director for operations. “As a sportsman and conservationist, I also know and understand the value of the stamp as an important tool to conserve wetland habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife.”
The 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp features a common goldeneye painted by wildlife artist Robert Steiner of San Francisco. Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Steiner’s art to grace the stamp from among 192 paintings at the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, held at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Steiner, whose painting of a Barrow’s goldeneye appeared on the 1998-1999 Federal Duck Stamp, has also created numerous state duck stamps.
Waterfowl hunters, stamp collectors, conservationists and outdoor recreationists gathered at a special ceremony marking the occasion and lined up to be among the first to buy the Nation’s most unique and successful conservation stamp.
The stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and at some post offices and national wildlife refuges. Go to www.fws.gov/duckstamps/stamps.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a current Federal Duck Stamp. Conservationists, birders, stamp collectors, art lovers and many others also buy the stamp as an investment in wetlands conservation for future generations. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 duck stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Since 1934, Federal Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $800 million to acquire and protect more than 6 million acres of wetlands habitat on hundreds of national wildlife refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories. A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge that charges an entry fee. More than 560 refuges offer unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
A canvasback painted by Madison Grimm, 6, of Burbank, S.D., graces the 2013-2014 Junior Duck Stamp. Grimm is the youngest winner of the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. Her art was chosen from among 54 best-of-show winners representing every state, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest held in April at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va.
The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long educational program that helps students learn about wetlands and waterfowl conservation, explore their natural world and create a painting or drawing of a duck, goose or swan as their “visual term paper” to demonstrate what they learned. A curriculum is available to help guide educators and students in their endeavors. The curriculum is online at www.fws.gov/juniorduck/
More than 29,000 students participated in the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in 2013. The winning art at the national level is made into a stamp the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sells for $5 to conservationists, educators, students and the public. Proceeds support conservation education.
Following a formal ceremony today, Deputy Director Rowan Gould bought the first 2013-2014 Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp. Artists Steiner and Grimm signed autographs and posed for photos with admiring fans.
This was the seventh year the first day of sale for the new Federal and Junior Duck Stamps has been hosted at a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail outlet.
The 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest will be held September 27 and 28 at the Maumee Bay State Park Conference Center in Oregon, Ohio.
Learn more about the Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp at www.fws.gov/duckstamps.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.