Service Signs Agreement With Ducks Unlimited to Manage Federal Duck Stamp Licensing Program
Ducks Unlimited (DU) will manage how Federal Duck Stamp images are licensed to manufacturers who place the images on a wide variety of consumer products. Under the agreement, DU will use its expertise to expand and manage the licensing program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Duck Stamp Program.
"We're excited to have DU manage our Duck Stamp licensing program and the potential it will have to provide even more money for wetlands conservation," said Service Director Steve Williams. "I am confident that this agreement will help us fulfill the goal announced by President Bush of conserving three million acres of wetlands across the nation over the next five years."
Since 1934, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, has been sold to hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors. In that time, stamp sales have generated more than $670 million that has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of important wetlands and associated upland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The stamps, which feature images of waterfowl painted by some of the nation's most prominent wildlife artists, are valued for their beauty. Recognizing the stamps' popularity with the public, Congress authorized the Service to license stamp images for use on a variety of products in 1984, with proceeds going to acquire additional habitat for the Refuge System. Since that time, dozens of licensed products ranging from embroidered hats and sweatshirts; to knives, keychains, and prints have been successfully marketed by private companies across the country.
By engaging the professional marketing and licensing expertise of DU, the Service hopes to take full advantage of the valuable stamp images to generate more money for conservation and raise public awareness of the Duck Stamp itself.
Under the agreement, DU will help the Service broaden the awareness of Federal Duck Stamps and the role they play in past, current and future conservation efforts. Like DU's current licensing programs that raise money for waterfowl and habitat, royalties generated from the sale of products with the stamp images will be dedicated to waterfowl conservation efforts.
"When waterfowlers purchase a product depicting a Federal Duck Stamp image, they're not only supporting a great conservation program and tradition, they're enabling the manufacturer of that product to donate important funds to habitat conservation, as well. Everyone wins," said Don Young, Executive Vice President of DU.
"DU and its members share our strong commitment to wetlands conservation, and understand the values that the Duck Stamp represents,” Williams added. "The Service has a long history of partnership with DU on wetlands conservation projects, and we look forward to deepening this partnership through our licensing program."
For more information on the Duck Stamp Program and how Duck Stamp funds have benefited a refuge in your state, visit the Duck Stamp home page at http://duckstamps.fws.gov
Nicholas Throckmorton (FWS)
Laura Houseal (DU)
With more than one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited www.ducks.org is the world's leading wetland and waterfowl conservation group.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on
fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.