The winning design will be made into the 2013-2014 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. Rather than a postage stamp, proceeds from purchases of the “Duck Stamp” are used to manage wildlife habitat across the nation in what has been heralded as one of the world’s most successful conservation programs. Stamps are purchased by waterfowl hunters, bird watchers, art and stamp collectors, as well as other people interested in wetland conservation.
Since its conception in 1934 by noted cartoonist and conservationist J. N. “Ding” Darling, the Duck Stamp has raised over $750 million dollars for approximately 8 million acres of habitat conservation. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (Brigham City), Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (Randlett), and Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge (Dugway), are among the Utah sites which have benefited from these sales.
The Duck Stamp Art Contest is the only federally recognized art competition in the nation. Thousands of wildlife artists have entered since the first competition in 1949. A panel of art, waterfowl, and philatelic authorities is appointed each year to judge the art work and select the art work for the next stamp. Judging will take place over a two-day period and is open to the public. In 2012 art work portraying Brant, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Canada Goose or the Common Goldeneye will be judged based on the artists’ biological depiction of the species, artistic composition, and suitability for a stamp. While the winning artist receives no compensation from the government, there is great prestige in winning the contest and winning can help establish a successful wildlife art career.
Weber State University provides an excellent venue to bridge the gap between young artists and adults and to bring the Duck Stamp conservation message to a wider audience. “This is a tremendous opportunity for WSU students, faculty and the surrounding community. Weber State has a strong commitment to engaging our students in public policy and environmental awareness. The Duck Stamp Program is a critical mechanism by which outdoor enthusiasts can help to conserve millions of acres of wetland habitat. Since WSU is situated next to Great Salt Lake, one of the most important waterfowl sites within the western U.S., it is appropriate that this competition be held here. It will not only raise awareness for our students and community about the value the duck stamp has for conservation but this location will also bring attention to the importance of Great Salt Lake for waterfowl.” said Dr. John Cavitt, WSU Zoology Professor, Director of Undergraduate Research and cosponsor of the judging event.
Cities such as those along the Wasatch Front, illustrate the current balance between maintaining healthy wildlife habitats while providing for our growing and diverse communities and answering their needs for recreation areas, high quality water supplies, educational opportunities, and other infrastructure needs. Overlooking Great Salt Lake and the millions of ducks, geese, swans, shorebirds, waterbirds, raptors, songbirds as well as other species of wildlife it supports, Ogden will provide a representative setting for many of our communities in the West.
“We’re very pleased that WSU agreed to host the Duck Stamp Contest this year in partnership with our fellow conservationists. The Great Salt Lake will serve as an ideal avian backdrop for this year’s Duck Stamp competition,” said Mountain-Prairie Regional Director Steve Guertin.
To encourage conservation through wildlife art among school students, the Junior Duck Stamp Program was developed to give youth the opportunity to participate in their own contest. Workshops and other side events to help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Jr. Duck Stamp Program will be held in conjunction with the art contest to help promote and celebrate the conservation message behind both duck stamp programs. For more information about the Duck Stamp Program please visit: fws.gov/duckstamps.
Weber State University is primarily an undergraduate institution whose mission is to provide associate, baccalaureate and master degree programs in liberal arts, sciences, technical and professional fields. Encouraging freedom of expression and valuing diversity, the university provides excellent educational experiences for students through extensive personal contact among faculty, staff and students in and out of the classroom. Through academic programs, research, artistic expression, public service and community-based learning, the university serves as an educational, cultural and economic leader for the region. For more information, visit weber.edu.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit fws.gov/mountain-prairie. Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie.