The Federal Duck Stamp First Day of Issue Ceremony takes place today at the Bass Pro Shop in Ashland Virginia, but
What if over 70 million wildlife watchers had an alternative choice to support wildlife habitat? What if all those non-consumptive users of our National Wildlife Refuge system had the choice of purchasing a Wildlife Conservation Stamp?
We are working hard toward a future where the Wildlife Conservation Stamp will be offered alongside the Duck Stamp, with the promise that each year’s purchases will not only bring a healthy stream of income for our Refuges, but will also finance photo blinds, birding trails and educational programs for those of us who love and visit our refuges for non-consumptive purposes.
Duck Stamps are mandatory for anyone over the age of 16 who plans to hunt migratory waterfowl. The funds are put toward refuge habitat acquisition which makes them a worthwhile investment. What Duck Stamps don’t offer, however, is an official delineation between consumptive and non-consumptive users and our various priorities.
For example, Duck Stamps don’t grant the birder or wildlife photographer special blinds or free roaming privileges as Duck Stamps do for hunters during waterfowl season.
What if there was an accurate accounting of stamp purchases and contributions by non-consumptive users, as well as official recognition of our valuable conservation efforts?
What if there was additional funding for photography blinds, boardwalks, viewing platforms, nature and interpretive trails?
What if there was additional funding for species and habitat projects that are sometimes short-changed in favor of game animal priorities?
What if there was additional funding for wildlife education programs for both children and adults, including field materials and programs encouraging birding, photography and other non-consumptive uses?
What if there were an additional 70 million National Wildlife Refuge advocates buying a stamp to support wildlife habitat and the National Wildlife Refuge system?
Even if there were only a fraction of one percent of that 70 million wildlife watchers who bought the Wildlife Conservation Stamp, we could easily surpass the average 1.5 million Duck Stamps per year that have been purchased over the last fifteen years!
We submit that a Federal Wildlife Conservation Stamp would not only greatly increase the income for our National Wildlife Refuge System, it would be a source of pride for the millions of birders, photographers and wildlife watchers who, for whatever reason, don’t purchase the current Duck Stamp.
If you haven’t already done so, please click on the Facebook widget in the side bar and “Like Us” on Facebook. We would love to break the 5,000 “likes” milestone this weekend! If you are interested in showing support for our project, check out the “About Us” page, send us your information and we’ll add you to the page! Also tell your friends about the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project and help us spread the word!