Larry Jordan started an important discussion at the 10,000 Birds blog — on the subject of birders, conservationists and the Federal Duck Stamp. The title of his post summarizes the issue well:
At the heart of this piece is a new document published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommending a future vision and direction for our National Wildlife Refuge System. This strategic plan addresses increased opportunities for hunting and fishing on Refuges with no attention given to non-consumptive recreation and non-hunting visitors. As Larry points out, “the new draft document from the group working on these recommendations has concentrated only on hunting and fishing, not even a mention of wildlife viewing and photography!”
At the Wildlife Conservation Stamp project, we are concerned with oversights like these, where non-consumptive users are essentially cut off from the process and the outcome. We believe that a new stamp, supported by birders, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts, will be an important bridge between the current system and a future system where non-consumptive priorities and recreation are given similar and equal consideration.
If you feel strongly about these issues … if you support the creation of a new Wildlife Conservation Stamp for these reasons and many others … please head on over to the 10,000 Birds blog and weigh in with your thoughts. Comments are trickling in on both sides of the issue, and we would love to hear your perspectives!