14 November 2012

Support the Wildlife Conservation Stamp

An immature Sage Thrasher at Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, Utah, one of the many National Wildlife Refuges that are supported by the Duck Stamp program, and that could be supported further by a new Wildlife Conservation Stamp program.  (Ryan O'Donnell photo)
Most people know about the federal Duck Stamp program, a $15 stamp that is required to be purchased by duck hunters, and is often purchased voluntarily by birders, as a way to support the National Wildlife Refuge system.  A lot of birders buy the stamp, but a lot don't, because these funds are invariably used to show how much consumptive users contribute to wildlife conservation, neglecting the contributions of non-consumptive users.  Accordingly, the vast majority of these funds go to the production of game birds, which birders and other non-consumptive users certainly encourage, but which does not encompass the needs of all wildlife.  A petition has been drafted with the help of the American Birding Association Facebook group that would create a Wildlife Conservation Stamp, that birders, photographers, hikers, and others could voluntarily purchase to support non-game species in the NWR system.  I encourage you to read the brief description and sign the petition to the White House if you would like to see more conservation of non-game species on federal lands.  If the petition reaches 25,000 signatures in one month, the White House will officially respond to the petition.  


Ingrid said...

Ryan, thank you, and a quick addendum to this piece. Larry Jordan posted our proposal with a bit more background on this idea and the motivation for birders, photographers and wildlife viewers. There's also a sample mock-up graphic (available for download) to show the potential for a photography contest and other possible revenue streams associated with the stamp: http://bit.ly/UG0sTU

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Excellent, Ingrid, that is a great summary with a lot more detail than I have here. I encourage everyone to go read Larry's thoughts at the link in the comment above.