LITTLE ROCK - If there is a duck hunter or waterfowl enthusiast on your Christmas shopping list, consider the special Federal Duck Stamp Gulf Coast Conservation Silk Cachet.
The cachet can be purchased for $25, which is $10 more than the cost of a regular federal duck stamp. Proceeds help raise additional money to acquire wetlands for Gulf Coast national wildlife refuges and provide alternative habitats for migrating birds outside of the oil spill-affected areas.
The cachet features a silk rendering of an award-winning photograph by David Moynahan of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, along the Gulf Coast of Florida. It also features the 2010-11 Federal Duck Stamp, which depicts an American widgeon painted by artist Robert Bealle of Waldorf, Md.
"Buying a special Gulf Coast Conservation Cachet is an easy and direct way to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquire and protect vulnerable wetlands habitats along the Gulf Coast," said Paul Schmidt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's assistant director for migratory birds. "These funds will also benefit all of us because wetlands help filter drinking water and assist in flood control, provide spawning grounds for fish and nesting areas for many migratory birds, and offer areas where we can watch wildlife and enjoy the nation's great outdoor heritage."
The Federal Duck Stamp Gulf Conservation Silk Cachet, as well as other duck stamp products, can be purchased online at www.duckstamp.com or by telephone (800-852-4897) from the Amplex Corporation.
"With the holiday season fast approaching, this special cachet is the perfect gift for hunters, stamp collectors and anyone who appreciates the natural world," Schmidt said. "And because our corporate partner Bass Pro Shops underwrote the printing costs for the first edition of the cachet, the entire $25 proceeds from each cachet can be put directly toward conservation."
Since 1934, sales of federal duck stamps have raised more than $700 million, which has been used to acquire and conserve more than 5.2 million acres of wetlands on hundreds of the nation's 548 national wildlife refuges managed by the USFWS. For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/.
All migratory bird hunters must buy a $15 Federal Duck Stamp, formally known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, each year in addition to state licenses, stamps and permits. The design of the stamp is determined by an annual art competition. The stamps have become popular with stamp collectors and wildlife art enthusiasts, as well as those who simply want to contribute to wetlands conservation.