USFWS says Federal Duck Stamps must include hunting imagery

USFWS says Federal Duck Stamps must include hunting imagery

USFWS says Federal Duck Stamps must include hunting imagery

For more than 80 years, one of the easiest ways that anyone can support bird habitat conservation is by buying Federal Duck Stamps.

Ninety-eight percent of the $25 annual purchase price goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat and purchase conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Wetlands acquired with Duck Stamp dollars help purify water, aid in flood control, reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities.

While waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older are required to purchase them as a yearlong license, they are also bought by birders, artists, stamp collectors and wildlife watchers and photographers.

Now, in a desperate, ludicrous attempt to kiss up to hunters and try and increase their numbers—the industry lost a whopping 2 million participants from 2011-2016—the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has revised the Duck Stamp Art Contest rules, making it mandatory for artists to include a hunting related accessory or scene in their entries. This is in effect for the submissions due Aug. 15 for the 2021 stamp.

In forcing a permanent emphasis on hunting, FWS is poised to alienate all the non-hunters who purchase stamps. They prefer to see waterfowl depicted flourishing in their natural environments and not think about them being shot dead.

Friends of Animals is seeking to challenge this new rule, and you can help prevent it from happening. If you have bought Duck Stamps in the past few years, please contact attorney Adam Kreger to see how you can be involved. He can be reached at adam.kreger@friendsofanimals.org.