Monday, January 8, 2007

Buy a stamp, save a bird pit stop

Paul Baicich, author of A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American spoke out our local bird club meeting last week on the history and current status of National Wildlife Refuges. One of Paul's discussion points was how birders tend to spend thousands on optics, guides and travel to see birds yet, as a group, we have a certain sense of entitlement to the habitat that allows birds to exist. Whereas, hunters, who are used to paying a fee for the right to use a resource have little problem putting out the money to sustain it.

The Duck Stamp is where we, as birders, can make a difference. The most wonderful part of this program is that it has been effective! In the past 72 years, the proceeds from Duck Stamp revenue purchased over 5.2 million acres of wetland habitat. Not only that, but the vast majority (ninety-eight cents on every dollar) goes directly to habitat protection within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

So, until the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service takes my Cute Husband's idea to market a Bird Stamp where can you find this year's Ross Goose? Supposedly at your local post office, but I had no luck at ours. However, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website has some links with shipping costs or try the kind people at The Georgia Ornithological Society who will send you the Duck Stamp at cost plus a self addressed stamp envelope.

On top of all that, the Stamp gets you free admission into NWRs!
And, maybe a little piece of a some future wetland.

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