WASHINGTON—July 17, 2014— Officials from Ducks Unlimited (DU) are voicing strong support for the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, a bill introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would raise the price of the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (duck stamp) to $25 from its current level of $15.
“We sincerely appreciate the interest and commitment of Chairman Fleming (LA) and Ranking Member Vitter (LA) in introducing their companion bills to address this longstanding need to increase the price of the duck stamp, which was last raised in 1991,” said Dale Hall, CEO of DU.
“Once again, sportsmen and women have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to delivering habitat conservation on the ground. With 98 cents of every dollar from duck stamp receipts going to conserve wetlands and associated habitats, it is vital that the cost of the stamp keep up with the cost of securing habitat,” said Hall. “It is imperative in today’s economy that conservation is an integral part of working farms and ranches and that working farmers and ranchers are integral contributors to conservation. With the dedication of the price increase to conservation easements with private landowners, this will make significant progress towards conserving vital habitats that benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and our citizens.”
Since its enactment in 1934, the federal duck stamp program has protected nearly 6 million acres of habitat through expenditures of more than $900 million. The price of the duck stamp has been raised only seven times. It has been 24 years since the last increase, which raised the price of the stamp to $15—the single longest period without a price increase in the program’s history.
Land values have drastically increased since the last price increase. While the duck stamp price remains stagnant, the cost to conserve land and habitats that host waterfowl and other species has increased dramatically. At its current price, the buying power of the federal duck stamp has never been lower over its 80-year history. The Congressional Budget Office found that because the federal duck stamp is a user fee, such a price increase would have no net impact on federal spending.
The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 is originally co-sponsored in the House by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), Jason Smith (R-Missouri) and Rob Wittman (R-Virginia) and in the Senate by Senators Michael Begich (D- Alaska), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and John Thune (R-South Dakota).