Canvasbacks are taking center stage for hunters, conservationists and stamp collectors as the new Federal Duck Stamp goes on sale today. The 81st Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, as it is formally known, debuted at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bass Pro Shops at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.
The 2014-2015 stamp features a pair of canvasbacks painted by wildlife artist Adam Grimm of Burbank, S.D. Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Grimm’s art to grace the stamp from among 202 paintings at the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Grimm is a two-time contest winner; his painting of a mottled duck appeared on the 2000-2001 Federal Duck Stamp.
Waterfowl hunters, birders, stamp collectors, conservationists and outdoor recreationists gathered at a special ceremony marking the occasion and lined up to be among the first to buy the nation’s most unique and successful conservation stamp.
The stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and at some post offices and national wildlife refuges. Visit www.fws.gov/duckstamps/stamps.htm for more information.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a current Federal Duck Stamp. Conservationists, birders, stamp collectors, art lovers and many others also buy the stamp as an investment in wetlands conservation for future generations. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 duck stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports wetland acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Since 1934, Federal Duck Stamp sales have raised more than $850 million to acquire and protect more than 6 million acres of wetlands habitat on hundreds of national wildlife refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories. A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge that charges an entry fee. More than 560 refuges offer unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.
A king eider painted by Si youn Kim, 16, of Tenafly, N.J., is depicted on the new Junior Duck Stamp. Kim’s art was chosen from among 53 best-of-show winners from every state, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest held in April.
The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long educational program that helps students 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. A curriculum is available to help guide educators and students in their endeavors. The curriculum is online at www.fws.gov/juniorduck/curriculum.html.
More than 29,000 students participated in the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in 2014. The national winning art is made into a stamp the Service sells for $5 to conservationists, educators, students and the public. Proceeds support conservation education.
Following a formal ceremony today, Service Director Dan Ashe bought the first new Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp, and the artists signed autographs and posed for photos with collectors.
This is the eighth year Bass Pro Shops has co-sponsored the first day of sale for the new Federal and Junior duck stamps.
The 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest will be held Sept. 19 and 20 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va.
Learn more about the Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp at www.fws.gov/duckstamps.