The following press release is courtesy of Ducks Unlimited:
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Duck Stamp Modernization Act, a bill that makes the federal duck stamp electronically accessible to waterfowl hunters for the entire waterfowl season and the spring snow goose conservation order. This legislation, which originally passed the Senate in July, allows waterfowl hunters to purchase the $25 duck stamp online and removes the requirement to possess a physical copy of the stamp while hunting. The bill now moves to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Though the duck stamp is going digital, the heritage behind it and annual duck stamp contest hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues. Hunters and collectors will still be able to purchase physical stamps from a U.S. Post Office and other qualified retailers. After duck season ends, physical copies will be mailed to anyone that purchased a digital stamp.
“This is commonsense legislation that will make buying a duck stamp much easier and help make duck hunting more accessible to all waterfowlers,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “More than 8 million acres of wetland habitat has been conserved through the Federal Duck Stamp program. Now that the stamp is fully electronic, we hope that more birders, anglers and conservationists will join us to increase the number of stamps purchased each year so that more wildlife habitat can be protected.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the federal duck stamp into law in 1934. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar spent on duck stamps goes to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to purchase or lease wetlands and wildlife habitat for our National Wildlife Refuge system, which is critical to the health of migratory bird populations, offering a stopover point to rest and feed on their fall and spring flights. Much of the refuge system is also open to public use.
The Duck Stamp Modernization Act builds upon the successful 28-state pilot program that validated these E-stamps for 45 days before needing a physical stamp to legally hunt. U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) led the way for this legislation, which modernizes and streamlines the licensure process by allowing hunters to satisfy the duck stamp requirement in the field by purchasing it online and saving the electronic stamp to their smartphone.
“Sen. Boozman and Rep. Graves did an incredible amount of work behind the scenes to get the Duck Stamp Modernization Act passed, and we thank them for their efforts,” Putnam said. “The great thing about this bipartisan bill is it keeps the duck stamp tradition alive while making it easier for sportsmen and women to get outdoors.”