With Broad Support, the U.S. Senate Passes the Duck Stamp Bill

At a time when Congress seems mired in a steady state of bickering and gridlock, the U.S. Senate delivered good news today by passing a bipartisan bill to increase the price of the federal Duck Stamp from $15 to $25.

The Duck Stamp is one of most important conservation measures I’ve seen in my 14 years of working on conservation advocacy, impressive both because of the way it works and what it accomplishes.  This is a huge conservation victory for the nation’s refuges and an outstanding example of how Americans of all political stripes value their lands and waters.

Cokeville Meadows Wetland
Cokeville Meadows Wetland | Keith Penner

The price of this popular stamp has not been raised since 1991, 23 years, during a time when the price of land has tripled.  Out of every dollar it generates, 98 cents help acquire habitat.  By buying this stamp, refuge supporters and waterfowl hunters have contributed over $800 million to protect more than six million acres of wetland and grassland habitat in America’s Refuge System since the stamp’s origin in 1934.

Here’s some perspective:  All but two percent of the funds generated by the stamp are used for habitat preservation, so that is $14.70 per stamp at its current price.  Using the acreage figures preserved by the stamps’ revenue in the past, we have calculated that one stamp can buy 1.66 percent of an acre or 725 square feet – that’s about the size of a one bedroom apartment!   That’s a huge accomplishment for one little stamp and just shows what one person can do.

Formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, the Duck Stamp is one of the most successful conservation programs ever. Period.  It unites millions of conservation advocates, sportsmen and women and others around a common cause – preserving the nation’s wetlands and grasslands.

The Refuge Association commends our elected officials and many advocates across the country for realizing the importance of the Duck Stamp and its longstanding success.  The House of Representatives passed the bill on November 17 so it is now on its way to President Obama for his signature.  We are strongly urging the President to sign this bill.

Conservation-minded Americans are willing to pay for conservation.  This little stamp with the big impact and Congressional action attest to that fact.

And I have to add just one more note – as a native of Iowa, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that an Iowan came up with this amazing program – J.N. “Ding” Darling.  He was a Republican who despite his differences with the New Deal, went to work for President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, to implement conservation programs at the U.S. Biological Survey, the precursor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s heartening to know that the bipartisan nature of the Duck Stamp remains evident today – and makes me hopeful for the future of other conservation measures.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2014/12/with-broad-support-the-u-s-senate-passes-the-duck-stamp-bill/

1 comment

  1. Steve Slayton says:

    I haven’t received my 2015 calendar. My Magazines are still coming. I don’t know what my renewal date is. Please Reply.

    Steve Slayton
    2094 Riverlanding Circle
    Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046

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