The Fish and Wildlife Service selected pintails for the 2008-2009 Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp. Carrying the stamp is required for waterfowl hunters over 16 years old. It is also popular with stamp collectors and birders, who use the stamp as a pass for the National Wildlife Refuge system. According to the government, sales of the Duck Stamp currently account for about $25 million towards wetland habitat purchases per year.
I have to disagree with one statement for Secretary Kempthorne:
"It was a privilege for me to congratulate Joe Hautman when the judges chose his art to grace the 75th Duck Stamp," said Secretary Kempthorne. 'The Duck Stamp program is unique in the realm between art and conservation. This art will be transformed into an equally beautiful stamp and help protect wetlands by generating funding through the sale of that stamp to hunters, stamp-collectors and conservationists. People talk about how art can change the world, and the Duck Stamp is an excellent example. You just need to look at the more than five million acres of waterfowl habitat protected by their purchase using funds from the stamp for proof of the power of this art."I am sure a few people buy the stamp primarily because they love the artwork. Since the stamp is required of hunters and provides a tangible benefit for birders, presumably most funds are generated because people have to buy the stamp. So what it actually shows is the power of federal regulation. (But don't expect a loyal Bushie to say that!)