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Federal and junior duck stamps available beginning Friday

June 23, 2010 | 12:59 pm

Duckstamp

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a First Day of Sale ceremony for the 2010-11 Federal Duck stamp and Junior Duck stamp this Friday at Bass Pro Shops retail store in Hanover, Md.

In conjunction, the Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga will also have first-day cancellations available for purchase beginning Friday. 

The artists of both stamps will be on hand at the Maryland event. Other participants will be Paul Schmidt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assistant director for Migratory Birds; Martin MacDonald, director of conservation for Bass Pro Shops; and Mike Matousek of the U.S. Postal Service.

The design that will grace the federal duck stamp, shown above, features an American wigeon and was painted by wildlife artist Robert Bealle, of Waldorf, Md. Last fall, a panel of five judges chose Bealles' art from among 224 entries at the federal duck stamp art contest, held at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Md.

Bealle, a lifelong resident of southern Maryland, placed second in the 1983 federal duck stamp competition and has won three Maryland duck stamp contests (1994, 2003 and 2008).

Rui Huang, an 18-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, won the junior stamp contest with her design featuring a hooded merganser, below. Huang’s art was chosen from among 51 best-of-show winners from every state and the District of Columbia at the national junior duck stamp contest, held in April at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul.

Juniorduckstamp

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to buy and carry a current federal duck stamp. These stamps are also popular with birding enthusiasts, conservationists and stamp collectors. A current duck stamp also allows free admission to any refuge open to the public.

Stamps can be bought at select U.S. post offices, from Amplex Corp. (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributor) and at most major sporting goods stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses.

Federal stamp proceeds go directly to help wetland conservation efforts, with 98% of each sale used to purchase or lease waterfowl habitat areas.

Since the program began, more than $750 million has been generated to acquire more than 5.3 million acres that are now protected habitat in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.

-- Kelly Burgess

Images from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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