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|  TPWD News Release 20051205c                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Dec. 5, 2005
Texas Duck Stamp Program a Conservation Success Story
AUSTIN, Texas -- For 25 years, Texas hunters have played a major role in successful waterfowl conservation efforts through the Texas Duck Stamp program.
Through the purchase of about 2 million state duck stamps, hunters and collectors have helped fund the lion's share of waterfowl habitat management, research and acquisition since 1981.
The Texas Duck Stamp has from its inception been a favorite of stamp and wildlife art collectors. In 1981, the Texas Duck Stamp Print was the largest single signed and numbered print of any kind ever in history, including the federal duck stamp print. That year, the state's royalties generated from the program exceeded the annual licensing income for the waterfowl stamp.
Much of the credit for the success of the stamp art program goes to Collectors Covey, who was instrumental in the creation of the Texas Duck Stamp. After the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stopped issuing actual stamps a decade ago with the advent of the electronic licensing system, Collectors Covey continued to facilitate and promote the stamp art program and make the annual stamp available to collectors.
Of the $15 million-plus raised through the Texas Duck Stamp program, more than $5 million has been derived from sales of the stamps and art. These funds have helped major conservation initiatives in Texas, including:
--The acquisition of all or part of 11 state wildlife management areas covering more than 18,000 acres using $5.4 million in waterfowl stamp funds. Most of these WMAs continue to provide quality economical public waterfowl hunting opportunities.
--The restoration and/or protection of more than 112,000 acres of critical wetland habitat in Texas. During the last 200 years, more than half of the state's historic wetlands have been lost to land use changes, fragmentation and urban growth. Considering wetlands along the Texas coast are being lost at an annual rate of about 5,700 acres, efforts to protect and restore what's left is critical to the future health of waterfowl and other wildlife species that depend on wetlands.
--More than 35 MARSH projects with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and other partners on state-owned WMAs using in excess of $2.5 million in waterfowl stamp funds.
--Over $1.3 million contributed toward the North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinated through Ducks Unlimited.
--During the last decade, Texas has sent more than $850,000 for work in prime breeding and nesting areas of Canada that historically send ducks down the Central Flyway. The funds are leveraged, in many cases, more than fourfold by the time they reach the ground in Canada, with U.S. federal dollars under the North American Wetlands Conservation Grant program.
--Since 1985, Texas' partnership with Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 200,000 acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat in Saskatchewan. This province provides many of the ducks that winter in Texas.
Texas is one of 11 states to receive the prestigious Gold State Grant Award from Ducks Unlimited for contribution of Waterfowl Stamp Funds to Habitat Projects.
Wildlife art and stamp collectors may purchase Texas Duck Stamp prints and stamps through Collector's Covey Wildlife and Sporting Art at (800) 521-2403.
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