Minnesota wildlife artist James Hautman was once again named the winner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Duck Stamp Contest held Oct. 15 and 16 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, Calif., marking the first time the contest has been held on the West Coast.
DU worked closely with the USFWS on the steering committee for this year's contest and provided a live video stream of the two-day event on the DU website.
This year's victory marks the fourth time Hautman has won the contest. His previous wins were in 1989, 1994 and 1998. His acrylic painting of a pair of white-fronted geese will be made into the 2011-2012 stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2011.
The contest was open to the public and judging took place over two days, as a panel of experts in art, waterfowl identification and philately considered more than 230 entries. Only five species of waterfowl are allowed each year for consideration in the contest. Eligible species for artists to render in 2010 included the brant, northern shoveler, ruddy duck, Canada goose and greater white-fronted goose.
Jim Hautman's winning stamp design (Photo: USFWS)
Every U.S. state has at least one national wildlife refuge that has benefited from duck stamp sales. Of every dollar generated from these sales, 98 cents goes to purchase or lease wetland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Each year, stamp sales contribute nearly $25 million to conservation. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which is comprised of four members of Congress and three members of the presidential cabinet, approves the acquisitions based on recommendations from the USFWS.
Dr. Fritz Reid, director of conservation planning at DU's Western Regional Office in Sacramento, Calif., attended the contest and said it embodied the conservation spirit the stamp is intended to champion. "USFWS and DU did a magnificent job organizing the contest's activities, and it was clear that everyone involved had one thing at the forefront of their thinking: the amazing benefits the federal duck stamp delivers to our National Wildlife Refuge system and conservation nationwide," Reid said.