"Congress exhibited great foresight when they created NAWCA and brought it through its first 22 years as the most effective wetland restoration program in the country," Schmidt said. "NAWCA is essential to conservation now and in the future, but even more important, it is essential to the future of wetlands and waterfowl and wildlife populations for future generations to enjoy. We strongly urge the Senate to pass this reauthorization measure."
Also under consideration this week is an increase in the price of the federal duck stamp. Sportsmen and women have once again demonstrated their support of conservation by their willingness to accept an appropriate price increase on the stamp. Nearly all revenue from federal duck stamp sales is dedicated to conserving land as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. S. 2156 would permit the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, to set the price for future duck stamps, within limits established by Congress. This new model would allow the secretary to consider inflation and other factors that might warrant a price increase. The price of the federal duck stamp, currently $15, has not increased since 1991.
Sportsmen and women are also increasingly buying their hunting licenses and stamps online. All state fish and wildlife agencies now make their hunting and fishing licenses and stamps available electronically. S. 2071 would make what was a pilot program in a few states available to all states to expand availability of federal duck stamps online. Hunters will still receive their paper stamps, but can now electronically purchase and receive a validation number for the federal duck stamp immediately, before heading to the blind. Ducks Unlimited first voiced its opinion on the e-Duck Stamp pilot program during congressional testimony in October 2011.
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.