The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that the theme of the 2019-2020 Federal Duck Stamp is “Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.” All entrants in the 2018 Duck Stamp Contest are required to include one or more visual elements that reflect the contributions waterfowl hunters make to habitat conservation.
Since 1934, the sale of Federal Duck Stamps has generated more than $1 billion to preserve more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the United States, making it one of the most successful conservation programs ever created. The program was created at the urging of waterfowl hunters who were concerned about declining duck populations during the Dust Bowl era. Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase the stamp.
“Hunters have always been a crucial piece in conserving America’s natural resources, with the Duck Stamp being one of the greatest examples,” said David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the U.S. Interior. “It’s incredibly appropriate that this year’s contest theme would be ‘Celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.’ I learned the greatest life lessons a boy could learn with a shotgun in hand from the inside of a duck blind. That tradition, through programs like the Duck Stamp, will be passed on so that future generations can add to that conservation legacy.”
The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is a juried art competition that draws entries from top wildlife artists. This year, the eligible species are wood duck, American wigeon, northern pintail, green-winged teal and lesser scaup. Judging will be Sept. 14 to 15 in Las Vegas. The winning entry will become the 2019-2020 stamp.