DU celebrates first sale of 2013-2014 federal duck stamps

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 27, 2013 – The new 2013-2014 federal duck stamp goes on sale this Friday, June 28. The stamps, which cost $15, are valid through June 30, 2014. Purchased by millions of waterfowl hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and collectors every year, duck stamps help raise money to purchase and protect wetlands for ducks, geese and other wildlife species.

"Duck stamps are one of the traditional ways hunters and others give back to conservation," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "We encourage everyone, whether they hunt waterfowl or not, to buy a duck stamp to help conserve our precious wetland resources. Many duck hunters even 'double up' their contributions to this conservation effort by buying two stamps every year."

Also available on Friday will be the new junior duck stamp. This stamp is part of a yearlong conservation program used by educators across the nation. This year, more than 29,000 students participated in state junior duck stamp competitions. Junior duck stamps sell for $5, and the funds go toward environmental education.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the duck stamp programs, is hosting a First Day of Sale event at Bass Pro Shops in Ashland, Va. Attendees will have the opportunity to buy the new federal and junior duck stamps and to meet the artists whose work is reproduced on the stamps.

This year's federal duck stamp artwork is a reproduction of an acrylic painting by Robert Steiner, of San Francisco. Steiner's painting of a common goldeneye topped 191 other paintings in the competition. Steiner is a two-time winner; his artwork also appeared on the 1998-1999 duck stamp.

The winner of this year's junior duck stamp contest is 6-year-old Madison Grimm of Burbank, S.D. Grimm won for her painting of a single canvasback.

The duck stamp, also known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, dates back to 1934. Since then, the program has raised $750 million to help acquire and protect more than 5.3 million acres of wetlands within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

"DU and other conservation groups continue to work hard in Washington to raise the price of the duck stamp, which has remained unchanged since 1991," Hall said. "We need this increase to help keep pace with inflation and retain the ability of duck stamp funds to conserve habitat. We hope hunters and others conservationists will support this increase when it comes before Congress again in the future."

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry a duck stamp while hunting. A duck stamp also provides free admission to national wildlife refuges (NWRs) that are open to the public. Duck stamps are sold at post offices nationwide, online through the U.S. Postal Service, at www.duckstamp.com and at many NWRs and sporting goods stores. Electronic versions of the duck stamp can also be purchased online – visit www.fws.gov/duckstamps for more information.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. 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 13 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.

Eric Keszler
(901) 758-3924