Presentation on theme: "The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act went into effect in 1934 with the issuance of what is popularly known as the Duck Stamp In 1976, Congress changed."— Presentation transcript:
The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act went into effect in 1934 with the issuance of what is popularly known as the Duck Stamp In 1976, Congress changed its official name to the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp presumably to broaden its appeal to non-hunters Over the ensuing 37 years there has never been a concerted effort to promote, what is still called the “Duck Stamp” by the USFWS, to anyone other than waterfowl hunters and philatelists
According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation Report by the USFWS: 13.7 million hunters 1.3 million waterfowl hunters 71.8 million wildlife watchers Over the past 15 years, the average number of Duck Stamps sold per year is 1.5 million. Presumably this means that approximately 200,000 Duck Stamps are purchased by collectors and other non-consumptive users of our refuge system
Since the 1930s Duck Stamps have raised over $800 million which goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to purchase wetlands and wildlife habitat for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since its inception that $800 million has helped to protect over 6 million acres of habitat for wildlife and future generations. However, this only accounts for about 3% of land purchases. The overwhelming contribution for land acquisition is by congressional appropriation.
With 55 times more wildlife watchers than waterfowl hunters, these numbers could be so much better. A separate Wildlife Conservation Stamp would provide a robust, parallel revenue stream for National Wildlife Refuges that we feel will far surpass the Duck Stamp
Benefits of a Wildlife Conservation Stamp A Wildlife Conservation Stamp could fund species and habitat projects that are sometimes short- changed in favor of game animal priorities. It would be a separate but parallel and symbiotic addition to Refuge budgets
Wildlife watchers could advocate for the Wildlife Conservation Stamp together, as a powerful unified group, without the misgivings and debates that tend to arise over the existing Duck Stamp and its traditional association with hunters and hunting interests
Birders, photographers and wildlife watchers, through this financial avenue, could have a voice in Refuge diversity as well as in innovative research, education and habitat programs
A year ago the USFWS published a document pertaining to recommendations 17 and 18 of their vision document titled, “Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation.” In that document they speak of a strategy for new opportunities stating that “the team will work with states and other conservation partners to complete a strategy for developing new opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and photography.” Interestingly, the new draft document from the group working on these recommendations concentrated only on hunting and fishing without even a mention of wildlife viewing and photography!
Summary of Statistics on Refuge Visitation 2012 2.5 million hunting visits 7.1 million fishing visits 7.4 million photography visits 10.6 million auto tour visits 30 million wildlife viewing visits Does anything in these figures jump out at you? 12 times more wildlife viewing visits than hunting visits!
Fast forward to September 25, 2013 Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announces that the USFWS proposes to expand fishing and hunting programs throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System. The proposed plans include introducing new hunting programs in six refuges where there had been no history of hunting activity, in New York, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Oregon, and expanding hunting and fishing programs in 20 refuges in 13 other states. The proposal also contains plans to modify existing refuge specific guidelines and regulations in more than 75 other refuges and water management districts.
How Did This Happen? Duck Stamps have been around for 80 years USFWS looks at hunters and anglers as their only source of income Hunters and anglers have large organizations backing them in Congress Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres of waterfowl habitat in North America DU generates $180 million in revenue per year National Audubon generates $96 million
Support a Wildlife Conservation Stamp Unite birders, photographers, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts and other non-consumptive users of the National Wildlife Refuge System Get the backing of other conservation groups Gain political clout as a unified group Affect policy for our National Wildlife Refuges Get an accurate accounting of stamp purchases and recognition of our conservation efforts Greatly increase the revenues for our National Wildlife Refuge System