“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, a birder, conservation enthusiast, or a 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 (USFWS). 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.”
This year's federal duck stamp features a pair of black-bellied whistling ducks painted by Eddie LeRoy of Eufaula, Ala.
This year’s junior duck stamp features a wood duck painted by Madison Grimm, a 13-year-old from South Dakota. Her artwork will grace the 2020-2021 Junior Duck Stamp, which will also go on sale June 26, and supports conservation education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. More than 3,000 junior duck stamps are sold annually for $5 each to help promote conservation education through art.
The duck stamp, more formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, dates back to 1934. Since then, the program has raised more than $1 billion to help acquire and protect more than 6 million acres of habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The USFWS Small Wetlands Program is also funded by proceeds from federal duck stamp sales. Established by Congress in response to widespread wetland drainage on the prairie breeding grounds, this program authorized the USFWS to spend federal duck stamp funds to protect wetland and grassland habitat through fee-title acquisition and voluntary conservation easements purchased from private landowners.
DU's conservation team in the Great Plains Region works closely with the USFWS to protect threatened waterfowl habitats in the Dakotas and Montana through the Small Wetlands Program. DU realty specialists, easement technicians and private lands biologists help promote the benefits of conservation easements in the agricultural community and finalize easement agreements with farmers and ranchers.
By purchasing federal duck stamps and supporting DU, waterfowl hunters and other conservationists can help ensure that farmers and ranchers can protect threatened wetlands and grasslands on working lands, which is essential to sustaining healthy waterfowl populations.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a duck stamp while hunting. A duck stamp also provides free admission to national wildlife refuges (NWRs) that are open to the public. Duck stamps are sold at post offices nationwide and at many NWRs and sporting goods stores. Electronic versions of the duck stamp can also be purchased online – visit https://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/e-stamp.php for more information.