|The first Federal Duck Stamp, issued in 1934.|
Duck Stamps are the primary source of revenue for habitat acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge system, and I had so many memorable experiences at wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas since I started birding that I've been committed to supporting them. And the Duck Stamps were so pretty! The artwork is selected each year via a major contest. Usually it’s a closeup of one or a pair of ducks in the water or a lovely closeup of ducks winging through the sky, but competition in the Duck Stamp contest is so keen that every year’s winner is simply gorgeous.
|This was the Duck Stamp for 2019, with that year's required "hunting element," the decoy. Hunting elements have always been optional in Duck Stamp art. But they should not be made mandatory every year.|
|Gambel's Quail at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico|
The comment period for this proposed rule ends March 16, so we don't have much time, but please let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know that it's important to remember how conservation is the whole point of the Duck Stamp, even embedded in its official name: the "Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp."
|Federal Duck Stamp issued 2018.|
Please submit a comment stating that you oppose this new regulation, not because you're against hunting but because the Duck Stamp should keep its focus on waterfowl conservation and habitat to encourage as many people as possible to buy Duck Stamps each year. Go to the Federal Register's website "Revision of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) Contest Regulations" and click on the green button near the top "Submit a Formal Comment" by Monday, March 16. Your comment doesn't need to be long or eloquent. Just say no.