Friday, June 20, 2014

Make Your Voice Count: Buy A Federal Duck Stamp Through ABA

Regular readers know by now how I much I lament the often times non involvement of our birding community when it comes to protecting wildlife habitat.  At least that is how I see it.  We have the numbers but for whatever reasons, we don't seem to have the clout.  Why the lack of involvement in things that matter such as the restoration of the West Pond at Jamaica Bay, is something that I struggle to come to terms with.

I respect everyone's right to do as they please and understand, that many of us would rather just go out into the field and observe, photograph or listen to the birds we love and can't be bothered with activism.    However, what happens when there are no more places for our feathered friends? What then?  Will we then break out into a cacophony of, "I wish", or "If I only knew." Okay, maybe, getting out into the field for conservation matters is not your thing but there are other ways to support the conservation of wildlife and the habitat they use.

Here is one way to do something that does not involve much other than a few clicks and a few bucks. The American Birding Association is offering the Duck Stamp, formally called the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp or Federal Duck Stamp through their website.  This stamp which cannot be used for postage was conceived in 1934 as licenses required for hunting migratory waterfowl. Today, the stamp has a much larger and VERY important role.  Ninety eight cents out of every dollar spent on a duck stamp is used to buy or lease wetlands for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System (to learn more, visit the website of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service). In addition, the stamp can be used an entrance pass to any National Wildlife Refuge where an admission fee is charged. So for a few bucks, you contribute to wildlife conservation and also get an admission pass that could save you money.  How cool is that?

By purchasing the Duck Stamp through the ABA, you are helping to show that there are a great number of birders who use many of our Wildlife Refuges throughout the US and we support habitat and bird conservation. If we want our voices to be heard, then we have to put our money where our mouth is to get our seat at the table. I got mine. Will you take a moment and get yours today?

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