Thursday, September 26, 2013

Environmental History Timeline, March 16, 1934

The "Duck Stamp Act of 1934" signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt March 16, 1934

The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, later renamed the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the "duck stamp", is a required purchase for those who would hunt waterfowl. Anyone age sixteen or older must posses the annual Federal Duck Stamp in order to legally pursue waterfowl anywhere in the United States and Territories. The duck stamp purchase requirement was made the law of the land in order to collect dedicated funds for wetland habitat protection.

The 2013-2014 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
Today, bird watchers and other conservationists, stamp collectors and, of course, hunters buy Federal Duck Stamps to grow our National Wildlife Refuge System. Stamps serve as entry passes into select federal wildlife refuges that require entry fees, too. Stamp income goes to the dedicated Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, held for the purchase and protection of habitat, not subject to appropriations politics. Duck stamp dollars protect habitat! The Federal Duck Stamp is a success story, an icon of conservation, a really big deal.

Duck Stamp money amounting to over 850 million dollars has purchased or leased over 6.5 million acres of habitat, wetlands and waterfowl production areas, during 80 years of sales.

Jay N. "Ding" Darling, celebrity cartoonist and leading conservationist, conceived of the stamp idea to raise funds for habitat protection. Ding illustrated the first stamp printed for the 1934-1935 waterfowl season. Conservationist, "Honest" Harold Ickes, FDR's legendary Secretary of Interior during the New Deal and Fair Deal years, said of Ding Darling's importance to conservation, "Darling is one of the greatest enthusiasts I have ever known."  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had named Ding the first Director of the newly configured Bureau of Biological Survey (1934), immediate predecessor of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (1940). Ding Darling may be credited with launching much of our continuing effort to preserve wildlife habitat.

More information:
The Federal Duck Stamp Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, details all things Duck Stamps.
See how Federal Duck Stamp money is spent in your state.
See the evolution of Federal Duck Stamp law.
See all 80 Duck Stamp images.

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