Hunters, birders, and stamp collectors celebrated as the 2022-2023 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – commonly known as the Duck Stamp – went on sale. The new Federal Duck Stamp and its younger sibling, the Junior Duck Stamp, debuted and are now available for purchase.
The Federal Duck Stamp plays a critically important role in wildlife conservation. Since 1934, sales of this stamp have raised more than $1.1 billion to protect over 6 million acres of wetlands habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“I am thrilled to put my stamp on conservation with the purchase of my Federal Duck Stamps and encourage others to join me,” said service director Martha Williams. “This is one of the easiest ways to support migratory bird habitat conservation. Of every dollar spent on a duck stamp, 98 cents of the purchase goes directly to acquiring and protecting habitat for ducks, geese, swans and other wildlife.”
Waterfowl are not the only species that benefit from wetland habitat preservation. Thousands upon thousands of shorebirds, herons, raptors and songbirds, as well as mammals, fish, native plants, reptiles and amphibians rely on these landscapes as well. In addition, other Birds of Conservation Concern use wetland and connected upland habitat to feed, breed, migrate and rest, including species like the wood thrush, golden-winged warbler, reddish egret, and long-billed curlew.
The pair of redheads painted by artist James Hautman from Minnesota, adorns the new Federal Duck Stamp and will raise millions of dollars for habitat conservation to benefit wildlife and the American people. This is a record-breaking sixth Federal Duck Stamp Hautman has designed for the Department of the Interior.
The Junior Duck Stamp, which also went on sale, raises funds to support youth conservation education. This year’s stamp features a green-winged teal painted by Madison Grimm from South Dakota.
The new duck stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and some post offices and national wildlife refuges.
Funds raised from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps go toward the acquisition or lease of habitat on national wildlife refuges around the nation. Duck Stamps – while required for waterfowl hunters as part of their annual license – are also voluntarily purchased by birders, outdoor enthusiasts and fans of national wildlife refuges who understand the value of preserving some of the most diverse and important wildlife habitats in our nation. Stamp and wildlife art collectors also value these miniature pieces of art and contribute to conservation through their purchases of duck stamps.
A current Federal Duck Stamp is good for free admission to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. Of the 567 refuges, many offer unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long educational program that encourages students to 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.
The winning art at the national contest is made into a stamp the Service sells for $5 to conservationists, educators, students, collectors, and the public. Proceeds support conservation education at the state and local level. Since the first Junior Duck Stamps went on sale in 1993, well over $1 million has been raised, which has been re-invested in this unique conservation arts and science education program.
The 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest to select the 2023-2024 stamp will be held September 23 and 24 in Bismarck, North Dakota.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”