Federal Duck Stamp Contest winner, artist Jim Hautman (left), and USFWS Deputy Director Dan Ashe display the winning entry, a pair of white-fronted geese. Hautman's art will be used for the 2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamp. (Photo: USFWS)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Oct. 18, 2010 – Ducks Unlimited, along with staff from a host of partnering organizations, served on the steering committee of the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Contest held this past weekend in Berkeley, Calif. The prestigious event was held in the David Brower Center near the University of California-Berkeley campus.
The duck stamp steering committee was led by Region 8 staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, headed by Marie Strasburg, USFWS regional migratory bird chief.
Dr. Fritz Reid, director of conservation planning at DU's Western Regional Office, attended the contest and said it embodied the conservation spirit the stamp is intended to champion. "USWFS 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 minds: the amazing benefits the federal duck stamp delivers to our National Wildlife Refuge system and conservation nationwide," Reid said.
DU provided a live video feed of the two-day event on the Ducks Unlimited website – www.ducks.org. Following the contest, DU held a reception where DU sponsors, staff and representatives from some of DU's Bay Area partner organizations had the opportunity to meet this year's winning artist James Hautman and view the first, second and third-place stamps in this year's contest.
Hautman, from Minnesota, who is the current DU Artist of the Year, won the contest for the fourth time (he also won in 1989, 1994 and 1998) with his acrylic painting of a pair of white-fronted geese. The contest was open to the public and judging took place during two days, as a panel of experts in art, waterfowl identification and philately considered the 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)
As part of the contest's activities, the USFWS collaborated with other conservation groups to provide visitors with bird walks and a chance to view the contest streaming live at a number of California National Wildlife Refuges. DU organized a free two-hour bus tour of three restoration projects in the San Pablo Bay area, and USFWS held wood duck carving demonstrations and allowed partner organizations to set up displays at the Brower Center.
Hautman's painting will be made into the 2011-2012 stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2011. USFWS produces the federal duck stamp, which sells for $15 and raises nearly $25 million each year to provide critical funds for conserving wetlands on national wildlife refuges, benefiting wildlife and people. Every U.S. state has at least one national wildlife refuge that has benefited from duck stamp sales. Of every dollar generated from duck stamp sales, 98 cents goes to purchase or lease wetland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats.
Established in 1937, 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.