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Keeping Duck Numbers Up: How the Price of Stamps Affects Mississippi Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Like to hunt ducks? Then you probably want to keep them around. That’s what a new bill in Washington will do with the help of money from Duck Stamps. Mississippi’s Sen. Thad Cochran (R), said Wednesday that, thanks to the bill that is now on the way to the president for him to sign, those stamps will go up for the first time since 1991.

But, the extra money will go to protect waterfowl habitats through the  Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

The legislation is supported by Ducks Unlimited and other organizations.

“This is sound bipartisan legislation with support from hunting groups that will help ensure better protection of waterfowl and migratory bird habitat,” said Cochran, a long-time member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission who cosponsored S.2621.

“The benefit of this program is that nearly 100 percent of the proceeds from the Duck Stamps go toward the protection of wetland habitat,” he said.

The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 will adjust the price of the duck stamps, which are required to hunt migratory waterfowl.  The legislation prohibits new land acquisitions and requires the revenues generated from the fee increase to be used solely for migratory bird easements.  The bill also gives the Department of the Interior the authority to lower the price of the stamps if the price changes result in less revenue generated for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

S.2621 was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-La.) and cosponsored by Cochran and Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).  HR.5069, introduced by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), was passed by the House of Representatives on November 17.

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