If you're a hunter, buying a Duck Stamp each year is a familiar activity because it's required by law if
you want to hunt migratory waterfowl in the United States. But if you're a birder, photographer, art collector, stamp enthusiast,
or conservation-minded citizen, then you're among those individuals who are starting
to see the need to buy Duck Stamps as well.
Originally created in 1934 as federal licenses required for hunting migratory waterfowl,
Federal Duck Stamps have a much larger purpose today. Duck Stamps are now a vital source
of funds for protecting wetlands, wildlife refuges, and endangered species -- especially
in times of tight federal budgets.
Since 1934, the
Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $700 million and protected over 5.2 million
acres of waterfowl habitat in America, and this habitat feeds and houses about one-third of the nation's
endangered and threatened species. Consequently, the Duck Stamp Program is considered one of the
most successful conservation initiatives ever created.
Nearly 98 cents out of every dollar collected from the sale of Duck Stamps (and Duck
Stamp merchandise) goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to purchase wetlands
and wildlife habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System -- the only federal
lands where wildlife comes first.
Blackwater NWR itself has benefited directly from this program, since
Migratory Bird Conservation Funds have been used to
purchase almost 20,000 acres for the Refuge. In fact, it's safe to say that almost every Refuge in the National
Wildlife Refuge System has benefitted at least in part from the sale of Duck Stamps.
Today the growth of human populations and sprawling development has made National Wildlife Refuges an even more vital resource
in America. But the number of hunters in America is dwindling and that means collectors, conservationists, birders, photographers
and other nature-oriented groups need to pitch in and do their part to purchase Duck Stamps.
Purchasing a Duck Stamp is easy, and it will give you pride in knowing
you're contributing directly to the protection of America's natural heritage. And Duck Stamps also give a valuable added benefit:
if you are in possession of a current stamp, they give you free access to any U.S. National
Wildlife Refuge open to the public.
So follow the link below to purchase a $15 Federal Duck Stamp. And please take a moment to
visit the additional links to shop for
Duck Stamp merchandise or to purchase a $5 Federal Junior Duck Stamp and learn more about how proceeds
go towards supporting environmental education programs and conservation art: