U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing a permanent rule change to the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Contest (known as the Duck Stamp) that would make the theme “Celebrating Our Waterfowl Hunting Heritage” and the mandatory inclusion of an appropriate hunting element permanent, beginning with the 2020 Contest.

The Brookline Bird Club has long asked birders to support the National Wildlife Refuge System through their purchase of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Contest (known as the Duck Stamp).

We urge each of you to comment.  The Brookline Bird Club opposes this proposal.

The comment period ends March 16.

We believe that increasing sales of the Stamp and strengthening the Duck Stamp program should be the top objectives when considering any change.  This proposed change discourages sales to new purchasers outside the hunting community.  Fewer sales lead to less land preservation and protection of habitat. The Duck Stamp program needs to be strengthened and to focus on creating common ground for support for the future of American wildlife.

From Parker River to Monomoy to Silvio O. Conte, birders value the National Wildlife Refuges in Massachusetts.  In Massachusetts alone, 15,290 acres have been acquired through MBCF funds, including 97.8 percent of Monomoy NWR and 97.7 percent of Parker River NWR (https://www.fws.gov/refuges/realty/pdf/MBCFAcres2015.pdf). Through club trips and individual visits, we explore these lands year after year.  We volunteer and serve on the boards of local Friends groups.  These lands are central to our birding experiences and are treasured by our community.

Sales of the Stamp have generated more than a billion dollars for conservation since 1934. For every dollar you spend on Stamps, ninety-eight cents goes directly to protecting vital wetland habitat as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Your Stamp will also provide admission to refuges charging entrance fees, such as Parker River. With our large membership, purchasing a $25 Stamp can make a significant contribution to the continued protection of these important habitats.

For more information, go to www.friendsofthestamp.org

For a more detailed Action Alert, click here.

In order to comment, go to https://tinyurl.com/duck-stamp-rules-change.

We urge you to comment on this proposed change.