The Federal Duck Stamp "First Day of Sale" will be celebrated on Friday, June 29 and Ducks Unlimited encourages supporters to "Double Up for the Ducks" when purchasing their 2012 stamps.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Bass Pro Shops, will hold the unveiling ceremony at the Hampton Bass Pro Shops located in Hampton, Va. Visitors will be able to meet the Federal and Junior Duck Stamp Contest winners.
"Federal Duck Stamp sales play an integral role in conserving waterfowl production areas and national wildlife refuges," said Dale Hall, DU's CEO. "Every outdoor enthusiast, from the waterfowl hunter to the occasional hiker, benefits from the Federal Duck Stamp, and everyone should be encouraged to purchase one or more."
Every U.S. state has at least one national wildlife refuge that has benefited from duck stamp sales. The total acres protected through the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) are more than 5.3 million.
"The Federal Duck Stamp has been an important tool in waterfowl habitat conservation for 77 years, but its ability to purchase and conserve important waterfowl habitat has been greatly diminished by inflation and rising land prices," Hall said. "The purpose of the 'Double Up for the Ducks' campaign is to show that hunters support the program and are willing to pay more for the duck stamp in order to conserve waterfowl habitat. We view the duck stamp as an investment in conservation, not as a tax on hunters."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp and requires hunters 16 and older to purchase the stamp annually in order to hunt any waterfowl species. Proceeds from the sale of duck stamps, which are licenses but also revenue stamps, help purchase wetland habitat for the NWRS. Each year, duck stamp sales raise more than $25 million for conservation and have raised a total of more than $750 million to date. The stamp also serves as a free entry pass to those national wildlife refuges that charge admission.
For more information on the Federal and Junior Duck Stamp programs and how duck stamp funds have benefited a refuge or school children in your state, visit the duck stamp homepage at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/.