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DUCK STAMP BILL INTRODUCED
A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week to increase the price
of the federal duck stamp to $25. The current price of $15 was set more
than 20 years ago, in 1991.
The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in
the program's history, with the last increase bringing the price to $15
in 1991. Yet the value of the duck stamp has decreased by 40 percent as
the price of land has tripled.
"We appreciate the introduction of a federal duck stamp increase bill by
Senators Begich, Baucus, Coons and Tester to meet very real
on-the-ground wetland habitat conservation needs. We are committed to
seeing this legislation signed into law and look forward to working with
Senators on both sides of the aisle to enact this," said DU CEO Dale
Since its enactment in 1934, the federal duck stamp program has
protected more than 6 million acres of wetlands – an area the size of
Vermont – through expenditures of more than $750 million. This has
contributed to the conservation of more than 2.5 million acres in the
Prairie Pothole Region, including the protection of 7,000 waterfowl
production areas totaling 675,000 acres.
Land values have drastically increased since the last price increase in
the 1990s. In Minnesota, for example, land has increased from an average
price of $400 to $1,400 an acre since 1998, an increase of 250 percent.
While the duck stamp price remains stagnant, the cost to conserve land
and habitats that host waterfowl and other species has increased
dramatically. At its current price, the buying power of the federal duck
stamp has never been lower over its 79-year history. 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.
"Once again, sportsmen and women have demonstrated their willingness to
pay for conservation by supporting a long-overdue increase from $15 to
$25. With 98 cents of every $1 from duck stamp receipts going to
conserve wetlands habitat, it is vital that the cost of the stamp keep
up with inflation and land acquisition costs," Hall said.