Duck stamp art contest on tap
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest will be held at the agency’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown Oct. 28 an d 29. This is the first time in the contest’s 61-year history that the event has been held in West Virginia.
The winning design chosen during the contest will be made into the 2012-2013 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” the cornerstone of one of the world’s most successful conservation programs.
“Having this prestigious contest at the National Conservation Training Center provides a unique opportunity to build on t he long history of wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation in our country,” said Jay Slack, director NCTC, in a press release.
The $15 Federal Duck Stamp is a vital tool for wetland conservation, with 98 cents of every dollar generated going to purchase or lease wetland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the stamp’s inception, sales have helped to acquire nearly six million acres of wildlife habitat at refuges in nearly every state.
The Federal Duck Stamp art contest is the only art competition of its kind sponsored by the federal government.
The first Federal Duck Stamp was designed in 1934 by Iowa native and editorial cartoonist J.N. “Ding” Darling, who was the director of the Bureau of Biological Survey, forerunner to the Fish and Wildlife Service. It sold for $1. The stamp currently sells for $15, and more than 1.5 million people buy Duck Stamps annually.
Every waterfowl hunter age 16 or older is required to buy a Federal Duck Stamp. In addition, the stamps are sought after by collectors, conservationists and wildlife art aficionados. A current Federal Duck Stamp also provides free admission into any refuge open to the public.
F or information about the Federal Duck Stamp Program and about the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest, go to: http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps. You can al so check out the Federal Duck Stamp on Facebook: by going to www.facebook.com and searching “Federal Duck Stamp.”