[CT Birds] Potential changes to duck stamp program
PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Feb 12 11:14:54 EST 2016
There may be some changes to the duck stamp program that could help to increase sales and increase awareness that sales of these stamps benefit non-game species as much as they do waterfowl. Please see below email from the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, including a request for a bit more action that could be helpful if you have time to write a note:
"I know that you wrote to Dan Ashe and the USFWS last April on behalf of the Audubon Connecticut concerning changing the rules for the Federal Duck Stamp Contest - to include a "secondary species," to appear on the artwork in addition to a dominant waterfowl.
Well, there's very good news... and some slightly disappointing news.
First, for the very good news. If you read the e-mail below from Suzanne Fellows from the Federal Duck Stamp Office (USFWS) you will see that just yesterday the Federal Register printed the intent to change the rules for the Duck Stamp Art Contest for this year. And you will see the opportunity to comment. Those comments will be taken through 14 March.
It's been a while in coming, but this proposal is real chance to 1) draw attention to the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty, 2) bring new challenges to the participating stamp-contest bird artists, 3) get more people involved in buying the Stamp, delivering the message that "it's not just for ducks," and, 4) emphasize the importance of these Stamp funds, securing bird habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
If you follow the Suzanne's links waaaaaaay deeeeep into the Gov site you can actually print out the announcement.
Now, for the slightly disappointing news: If you actually read the Federal Register you will see that although a "second, appropriate, migratory bird species" would be required [whew!] in the artwork for this year's contest, the details (read: actual proposed rules) are missing. What's left is a bit vague. Perhaps there wasn't enough room to print any full proposed rules...
Anyhow, while you might remember them, you can see our original - and specific - suggestions here:
I think that if the public had been given some actual suggested rules from the USFWS - as we had originally suggested - there would be something better to discuss. As I understand, the current comments reflect some confusion and flailing about.
Basically, however, I think we are on a roll and have a great deal to be happy about.
It would be grand if you could submit short comments... and share the issue with others at Audubon Connecticut and beyond.
That's about all for now, but don't hesitate to contact me for any questions or suggestions.
Have a great President's Day weekend... and GBBC!
President, Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp
Patrick M. Comins, Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Connecticut
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