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Buy a Stamp – Save a Wetland

 

The winner of the 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Contest is Jennifer Miller of Olean, NY, with her acrylic painting of ruddy ducks. Congratulations, Jennifer!

While winning the contest brings the artist worldwide recognition and profits from the sale of limited edition prints, the real winners are the wildlife, fish and plants that inhabit the lands of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Duck Stamp is more than just a pretty picture. It’s a revenue generating program for funding purchase of lands to be included in the Refuge System. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp - commonly known as the Duck Stamp - but conservationists, stamp collectors and others also purchase the stamp in support of habitat conservation. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the purchase of habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System.

To date, the sale of Duck Stamps has generated more than $670 million. These funds have been used to purchase or lease over 5.2 million acres of waterfowl habitat at hundreds of refuges and wetland management districts in nearly every state in our nation. In fact, almost all the money used to purchase Iroquois NWR came from the sale of Duck Stamps.

There are 548 national wildlife refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories. A current Duck Stamp can be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges a fee and is open to the public. Refuges offer unparalleled recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.

The first Duck Stamp which sold in 1934 for $1 was painted by J.N. "Ding" Darling. Born in 1876 in Michigan, Darling was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his conservation-themed cartoons. He also served as Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, the forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from 1934-1935. Although it’s called a Duck Stamp, geese are often depicted on the stamp as well and in 1959 a dog even made it on to a stamp.
duck stamp 1934
 
If you are a waterfowl hunter you are required to purchase a Duck Stamp every year, so you likely already know about all the good things that the money from these stamps can do. But, if you are a supporter of the National Wildlife Refuge System and you want to help make a difference for wetland and wildlife conservation, consider purchasing a stamp and maybe one for a friend. You can buy them right here at Iroquois NWR and if you have any doubts about how your money will be spent, take a trip around the Refuge and see all the good things that can result from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps.
Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
1101 Casey Road
Basom, New York 14013
(585)-948-5445
 
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