The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, bipartisan legislation that would raise the price of the annual stamp to $25 from $15, has been introduced into each chamber of Congress.
It has been 24 years since the last duck stamp increase, which raised the price to $15 — the longest period without a price increase in the program’s history.
Ducks Unlimited, the main waterfowl conservation organization in the country, is among habitat advocates on board.
“Once again, sportsmen and women have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to delivering habitat conservation on the ground. With 98 cents of every dollar from duck stamp receipts going to conserve wetlands and associated habitats, it is vital that the cost of the stamp keep up with the cost of securing habitat,” said Dale Hall, CEO of DU, in a news release. “It is imperative in today’s economy that conservation is an integral part of working farms and ranches and that working farmers and ranchers are integral contributors to conservation. With the dedication of the price increase to conservation easements with private landowners, this will make significant progress towards conserving vital habitats that benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and our citizens.”
The duck stamp program has protected nearly 6 million acres of habitat through expenditures of more than $900 million since being enacted in 1934.
The price of the stamp has been raised only seven times, and officials noted that land values have drastically increased since the last increase. The Congressional Budget Office found that because the federal duck stamp is a user fee, such a price increase would have no net impact on federal spending.
The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 was co-sponsored in the House by Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), Jason Smith (R-Missouri) and Rob Wittman (R-Virginia) and in the Senate by Michael Begich (D-Alaska), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jon Tester (D-Montana).