Federal Duck Stamp
by Paul Baicich
TIME TO PURCHASE YOUR MIGRATORY BIRD STAMP!
Every year - in late June or early July - the new Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (commonly called the "Duck Stamp") becomes available. All outdoor recreationists and conservationists who enjoy wildlife and natural landscapes have the opportunity to declare their solidarity with wise wetland and grassland acquisition by buying a stamp.
A stamp costs only $15, and it's easy for everyone to purchase - nearly all Post Offices carry them. Even better, it is extremely cost-effective: fully 98 cents out of every dollar ($14.70) goes directly to acquire land for the Refuge System. This $15-purchase is perhaps the single simplest thing anyone can do to support a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds.
Over the 75 years of the stamp's history, $700+ million has been collected and 5.3 million acres of habitat for wildlife and future generations has been protected in the National Wildlife Refuge System through the stamp. What's more, the purchase of a stamp is not something that will simply benefit ducks. Among scores of other bird species, numerous kinds of shorebirds, long-legged waders, and wetland and grassland songbirds are dependent on habitat derived from "Duck Stamp" purchases.
Many non-hunters will buy stamps and put them on their field equipment - backpacks, binoculars, or field guides - as a way to display their contribution to the future of wetland and grassland conservation. Please consider doing likewise this year.
Paul Baicich is a former editor of Birding (ABA) and a long-time bird conservationist. He currently writes the "Quick Takes" column for Bird Watcher's Digest.
Available now at most U.S. Post Offices, staffed National Wildlife Refuges, better sporting goods stores, or online.