Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Service Announces 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Will Be Held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the 2011 Federal
Duck Stamp Art Contest will be held at the agency’s National Conservation
Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va., on October 28 and 29. This is
the first time in the contest’s 61-year history that the event has been
held in West Virginia.

The winning design chosen during the contest will be made into the
2012-2013 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck
Stamp,” the cornerstone of one of the world’s most successful conservation
programs.

“Having this prestigious contest at the National Conservation Training
Center provides a unique opportunity to build on the long history of
wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation in our country,” said Jay
Slack, Director of the Service’s training center. “Never has it been more
important to conserve and restore wetland habitat, especially as we search
for methods to minimize the effects of climate change, for waterfowl and
the multitude of other species that depend on wetlands.”

The $15 Federal Duck Stamp is a vital tool for wetland conservation, with
98 cents of every dollar generated going to purchase or lease wetland
habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since the stamp’s
inception, sales have helped to acquire nearly six million acres of
wildlife habitat at hundreds of refuges in nearly every state.

The Federal Duck Stamp art contest is the only art competition of its kind
sponsored by the federal government. Since the first open contest was held
in 1949, thousands of wildlife artists from throughout the nation have
submitted art to the annual contest. While the winner receives no money
from the federal government, the winning artist may benefit from the
increased visibility and sale of prints and artwork.

The first Federal Duck Stamp was designed in 1934 by Iowa native and
editorial cartoonist J.N. “Ding” Darling, who was the director of the
Bureau of Biological Survey, forerunner to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
It sold for $1. The stamp currently sells for $15, and more than 1.5
million people buy Duck Stamps annually.

Every waterfowl hunter age 16 or older is required to buy a Federal Duck
Stamp. In addition, the stamps are highly sought after by collectors,
conservationists and wildlife art aficionados. A current Federal Duck
Stamp also provides free admission into any refuge open to the public.
There are 550 National Wildlife Refuges spread across all 50 states and
U.S. territories, offering unparalleled wildlife oriented recreational
opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.

For information about the Federal Duck Stamp Program and about the 2011
Federal Duck Stamp Contest, go to: http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps. You can
also check out the Federal Duck Stamp on Facebook: by going to
http://www.facebook.com and searching “Federal Duck Stamp.”

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others
to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on
our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.

The National Conservation Training Center is the home of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and a leader in environmental sustainability. The center
provides quality training tailored to support Service employees and
conservation partners in the accomplishment of the agency’s mission. For
more information about NCTC or our green practices, visit
http://nctc.fws.gov.

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