Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act—1934
Several notable events unfolded during the late 1920s and early 1930s that would define Ducks Unlimited's future role. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed the Migratory Bird Conservation Act authorizing acquisition of wetlands in the United States as waterfowl habitat, but the legislation did not establish a funding source for this work. In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed a committee composed of Jay N. "Ding" Darling, Thomas Beck, and Aldo Leopold to further assess the dismal state of waterfowl and other migratory birds, and recommend actions necessary to ensure that populations were restored and sustained for future generations. This group proposed the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, which was approved by Congress and signed by the president later that year.
Importantly, the act declared that funds derived from the sale of federal duck stamps could be used only for the acquisition of land for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the act's passage, revenues collected from the purchase of federal duck stamps, mostly by waterfowl hunters but also other conservationists who value waterfowl, have generated over $750 million, which has conserved more than 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the United States. DU supports legislation to increase the current price of the federal duck stamp to keep pace with inflation, and is encouraging waterfowlers and other conservationists to "Double Up for the Ducks" by purchasing two federal duck stamps each year.