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DU calls for duck stamp fee increase

May 13, 2009 at 03:52 PM

WASHINGTON – May 13, 2009 – Ducks Unlimited Chief Biologist Dale Humburg recommended a change to a popular and effective conservation initiative to the House Natural Resources Committee: increase the value of the Federal Duck Stamp.

The price of the stamp has not increased since 1991, when it was set at the current level of $15. However, skyrocketing land prices have greatly diminished the buying power of the stamp in recent years, prompting several attempts to adjust the price. The most recent proposal from Congressmen John Dingell (Mich.) and Rob Wittman (Va.) would increase the price to $25 for the 2010-11 waterfowling season.

“Raising the price to $25 brings the cost of the stamp about equal with the buying power of the $15 stamp in 1991, once you adjust for inflation,” said Humburg. “Compare that to the 300% increase in land values that we are seeing in Minnesota, one of the breeding hot spots.”

The Federal Duck Stamp, which is required for all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older, was introduced in 1934. Funds from sales of the stamp have conserved more than 5 million acres of waterfowl breeding, migrating, and wintering habitat across the United States.

“Waterfowlers have invested more than $760 million into the Federal Duck Stamp – and it needs to remain a viable conservation tool if we are going to protect that investment into the future,” said Humburg. “In order to ensure that we can continue to protect waterfowl habitat, there must be an increase to the buying power of the Duck Stamp.”

“If we increase the stamp by, $10 we could conserve an additional 16,000 acres of prime waterfowl habitat in just the next year,” said Humburg.

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