Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Got Your Duck Stamp?




Do you think hunters are causing our wildlife to go extinct?  Think you should not have to pay to visit a wild place if you only hike, take pictures, or paddle there? Or do you feel that all of us, hunters, and non-hunters alike, should be working together to provide more habitat so more native plants and wildlife can live and enrich all our lives?


Snow geese in the Sacramento NWR

One of the ways people who love to be in  wild places can protect them and make them better for the native wildlife is to buy a duck stamp. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar goes directly either to purchase land or  to to improve habitat so more waterbirds can use a location.






And this acquisition and improvement doesn't JUST help waterfowl.  It also helps the wading birds like black-necked stilts and roseate spoonbills and the herons and egrets.  It  helps rails, common yellow throat warblers,  many other passerines, and the bald eagles and peregrine falcons. . And of course it helps lots of mammals too.


 


People were first connected to the lands in which they lived  by hunting and gathering. So they intimately knew the ways of the native plants and wildlife:  Which plants would be producing fruit or starch roots at what times of the year.  What plants were available to gather for medicines. Which animals would be gathering to feast on acorns or grass seeds. The migration habits of the bison and birds. People who became the first conservationists were mostly also hunters who knew, first-hand, that their game was getting harder and harder to find.




"So what's all this got to do with me?", you say.


 



 

You too, can buy a duck stamp each year to help rehabilitate wetlands, or buy new ones,  and  preserve the environment these birds need. You  can also  buy a junior duck stamp to help provide environmental education to young people so future generations will continue to value our wild places and wildlife. If you hunt waterfowl, you have to buy it but anyone can buy it to do their part each year towards providing habitat for wildlife.







But there's MORE.  With a current duck stamp, you can visit any National Wildlife Refuges that charges entry fees for free.  And both the duck stamps and the junior duck stamps are collectibles, so you can also buy many of them and then have them to sell at higher prices later or leave to your kids.


A view at Sacramento NWR where you can use your duck stamp in lieu of fees

O.K. already, I've convinced you.  But where can you now rush out to buy them?  You can order online, from a post office, from a sporting goods store, or your favorite refuge. Click here to find links and telephone numbers to order from home or at one of your local stops. (And now, you can also order them from ABA, together with a photo keyring to put them in.)


With all our help, our birds will fly forever.




To view all the duck stamps ever produced, click here.

 Note:  These pictures are from several NWR where I've worked.  All of the refuges have received funds from Duck Stamps to improve habitat or acquire new acreage.