Ducks Unlimited backed a hike in the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25.
I think the hike is overdue.
Below is the complete release:
DUCKS UNLIMITED CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PROTECT SPORTSMEN'S INVESTMENT
Chief Biologist supports increasing value of Duck Stamp, allowing more investment in conservation
WASHINGTON - May 13, 2009 -Ducks Unlimited Chief Biologist Dale Humburg recommended a change to a popular and effective conservation initiative to the House Natural Resources Committee: increase the value of the Federal Duck Stamp.
The price of the stamp has not increased since 1991, when it was set at the current level of $15. However, skyrocketing land prices have greatly diminished the buying power of the stamp in recent years, prompting several attempts to adjust the price. The most recent proposal from Congressmen John Dingell (Mich.) and Rob Wittman (Va.) would increase the price to $25 for the 2010-11 waterfowling season.
"Raising the price to $25 brings the cost of the stamp about equal with the buying power of the $15 stamp in 1991, once you adjust for inflation," said Humburg. "Compare that to the 300% increase in land values that we are seeing in Minnesota, one of the breeding hot spots."
The Federal Duck Stamp, which is required for all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older, was introduced in 1934. Funds from sales of the stamp have conserved more than 5 million acres of waterfowl breeding, migrating, and wintering habitat across the United States.
"Waterfowlers have invested more than $760 million into the Federal Duck Stamp - and it needs to remain a viable conservation tool if we are going to protect that investment into the future," said Humburg. "In order to ensure that we can continue to protect waterfowl habitat, there must be an increase to the buying power of the Duck Stamp."
"If we increase the stamp by, $10 we could conserve an additional 16,000 acres of prime waterfowl habitat in just the next year," said Humburg.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization and has conserved more than 12 million acres. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature's most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres important to waterfowl each year.