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"Duck Stamp" Fee Increase Passes Senate

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"Duck Stamp" Fee Increase Passes Senate

Old 12-03-2014, 05:26 AM
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Thumbs up "Duck Stamp" Fee Increase Passes Senate

Senate Vote to Increase Duck Stamp Fee Is a Win for Sportsmen

Measure would channel millions of dollars to wetlands and waterfowl habitat conservation;
vote follows House advancement of companion bill last month

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill that would raise the price of a federal Duck Stamp from $15 to $25 and channel millions of dollars toward wetlands and other waterfowl habitat conservation passed the Senate today, winning loud praise from conservation and sportsmen's interests that have consistently championed the measure.

The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 (S. 2621), introduced by Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, would increase the cost of a Duck Stamp, the annual permit required to hunt migratory waterfowl, for the first time since 1991.
Today's action follows a November vote by the House of Representatives to advance a companion bill (H.R. 5069), introduced by Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana, that drew similarly broad bipartisan support.

"At a time when millions of acres of wildlife habitat are at risk of being lost forever, congressional approval of this bipartisan legislation is a critical boost for wetlands conservation," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "By restoring the lost purchasing power of the Federal Duck Stamp, this legislation will give us the opportunity to work with thousands of additional landowners across the nation to maintain vital habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds and hundreds of other native species."

Ashe continued, "I want to thank the bill's sponsors, congressional leaders and millions of hunters and other conservationists for purchasing Duck Stamps and contributing to the preservation of habitat that all Americans can enjoy for generations to come."

"For decades, duck hunters have proudly paid their own way," said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh, "funding countless conservation initiatives all across the country that have helped increase duck numbers and improve wetland habitat. Yet we want to do more.

"The price of a Duck Stamp has not been increased since 1991," Fosburgh continued. "During that time, the price of a first class U.S. postage stamp has increased 14 times. Duck hunters and waterfowl enthusiasts understand the importance of our Duck Stamp purchases, and we thank Congress for putting aside politics to pass this commonsense bill."

Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps <http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/DuckStampSalesbyStateOctober2012.pdf> have generated more than $800 million, resulting in the purchase or lease of more than 6 million acres of U.S. wetlands habitat as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System <http://refuges.fws.gov/> .

"This week's actions represent a much-needed win for wetlands conservation, Prairie Pothole protection, the National Wildlife Refuge System and sportsmen's interests," said Steve Kline, TRCP director of government relations. "From a practical perspective, they also mean more ducks and better hunting seasons - as well as increased funds to expand and enhance access to places where waterfowlers can enjoy quality days afield."

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