Bill would increase price of Federal Duck Stamp

Ducks Unlimited sent out this press release (pasted below)
today, and if this passes, you’ll pay more to hunt ducks everywhere
in the United States. Federal Duck Stamps currently cost $15, and
this legislation would increase the price to $25. Different
versions of this bill have been around for several years, but the
anti-tax increase (or “fee”) attitude in the nation’s Capitol the
past few years has kept it from going anywhere. Frankly, I’m
skeptical this bill will advance even with a new administration in
DC, but this waterfowler supports the concept.

Funds from the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and
Conservation Stamp have been the major driver in expanding national
wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas across the
Duck Factory. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spends the dollars
while working with conservation groups like DU to identify prime
parcels. Duck hunting could be better in Minnesota, but it would be
much worse without the wetlands and associated upland grasslands
that Duck Stamp dollars helped acquire and
manage.

Contact your congressman or our (one) senator and express
support for this bipartisan chunk or legislation. You can track
down your House member here or
all U.S. senators here.

CONGRESS INTRODUCES BILL TO INCREASE WATERFOWL HABITAT

Ducks Unlimited Supports Bill To Increase Conservation Value of
Federal Duck Stamp

WASHINGTON – April 3, 2009 – Migratory Bird Conservation
Commission members Congressman John Dingell (Mich.) and Robert
Wittman (Va.) introduced legislation in Congress to increase the
availability and buying power of the Federal Duck Stamp – a move
designed to continue the success that the stamp has had in
conserving waterfowl habitat across the United States.

 Proceeds from sales of the Federal Duck Stamp are used to
purchase and protect waterfowl habitat across the country. Since
its inception in 1934, sales from the stamp have topped $700
million and have conserved more than 5.2 million acres of
habitat.

 “Federal Duck stamps are one of the major success stories of
conservation,” said Dingell, who has served on the Commission for
more than 40 years.

 “This bill will help continue the 75-year tradition that
waterfowlers have in protecting the resource that they value,”
added Wittman.

 For 18 years the purchasing power of the stamp has failed to
keep up with skyrocketing land values. In North and South Dakota –
two states where breeding habitat is crucial – the cost to protect
land has gone up more than 200% just since 1998. In California,
where northern pintail ducks migrate through the Central Valley,
land values have dramatically risen, making protecting waterfowl
habitat incredibly difficult.

 In the recent “State of the Birds” report, released by the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service, many waterfowl populations were cited
as faring better than other birds, helped by the investment made by
sportsmen through Duck Stamp sales.

 “Waterfowlers make up 95% of Duck Stamp sales,” said Scott
Sutherland, Director of the Governmental Affairs Office for Ducks
Unlimited. “Sportsmen were the first conservationists, and continue
to be leaders in putting waterfowl and wildlife habitat on the
ground.”

 Under the proposal, the stamp could be sold by any distributor
designated by the Secretary of Interior, which would expand the
availability of the stamp. The price would also be increased to $25
for the 2010-2011 hunting season. The 18 years since the increase
in 1991 is the longest period that there has not been an adjustment
to the price of the stamp in its history.

Categories: Rob Drieslein

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