Hunters, birders and stamp collectors across the United States join in celebrating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) as the 2020-2021 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – commonly known as the Duck Stamp – is now on sale. Beginning today, the new Federal Duck Stamp and its younger sibling, the Junior Duck Stamp are available for purchase at official locations and online.
A pair of black-bellied whistling-ducks painted by artist Eddie LeRoy of Eufaula, Alabama, is the new Federal Duck Stamp, sales of which will raise millions of dollars for habitat conservation to benefit wildlife and the American people.
“Purchasing Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps is a great way to support conserving America’s waterfowl and wetlands,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. “Each purchase directly funds restoration of migratory bird habitats and has supported millions of acres across the country since inception.”
The 2020-2021 Junior Duck Stamp, which also went on sale today, raises funds to support youth conservation education and this year features a wood duck painted by Madison Grimm, 13, of South Dakota.
The Federal Duck Stamp plays a critically important role in wildlife conservation. Since 1934, sales of this stamp have raised more than $1 billion to protect 6 million acres of wetlands habitat on national wildlife refuges around the nation.
“People sometimes ask me what they can do personally to help wildlife and my first answer is ‘Buy a Duck Stamp!’ It’s easy, fun and tremendously effective,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “The art is truly outstanding and collectible, but most importantly the money raised by stamp sales goes directly to benefit wildlife and national wildlife refuges that support them, which we in turn can all enjoy.”
President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt have made access to public lands for hunting and fishing and other outdoor recreation a priority beginning day one. The Service has proposed the largest ever expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries, kept refuge and fish hatchery lands open to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, and recently amended the regulations for the Federal Duck Stamp art contest. From 2021 on, every Federal Duck Stamp must feature an element reflecting the contribution hunters have made to conservation.
“Since Ding Darling quickly sketched the first duck stamp in 1934, art and conservation have been connected and the world is better for it. Whether you’re an avid waterfowl hunter, birder, conservation enthusiast, or collector, every American has a good reason to buy a duck stamp, perhaps even two or three,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “Of every dollar spent on a duck stamp, 98 cents of the purchase goes directly to acquiring and protecting waterfowl habitat, and that’s a testament to the great administration of this long-running program by the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The First Day of Sale is our opportunity to celebrate another great season and say thank you to the adult and youth artists who lend their talents to this important cause – and all those supporting and delivering wildlife conservation through their purchase of a duck stamp each year.”
“Duck stamps are a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to invest in conservation,” said Kelly Hepler, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “Whether you hunt or just enjoy wildlife watching, duck stamps raise millions of dollars that directly benefit wetlands, waterfowl and hundreds of other wildlife species.”
“Funds from the Federal Duck Stamp have been critical to creation and expansion of many national wildlife refuges in California,” stated Mark Hennelly, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the California Waterfowl Association. “This has not only provided important waterfowl and wetland conservation benefits but increased recreational opportunities for the public, including hunting. We urge waterfowl hunters to consider purchasing additional stamps to further support the Duck Stamp program.”
The new Duck Stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and some post offices and national wildlife refuges. Find all buying options at http://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/buy-duck-stamp.php.
Funds raised from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps go toward the acquisition or lease of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Duck Stamps – while required for waterfowl hunters as an 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.
A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any national wildlife refuge. Of the more than 560 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 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.
The winning art, chosen through a national contest, is made into a stamp the Service sells for $5 to conservationists, educators, students and the public. Proceeds support conservation education. 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 contest to select the 2021-2022 Federal Duck Stamp is scheduled to be held on September 25 and 26 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Learn more about the Federal and Junior Duck Stamps at https://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp.php.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.