Written by: Corporate
August 15, 2012 02:48 PM
"Double Up for the Birds" - Campaign Shows Congress that Birders Support Stamp Price Increase
The Wild Bird Centers of America (WBCA) asks all birders to "double up for the birds" by purchasing not one, but two federal conservation stamps in 2011-2012.
This federal stamp program has been an important tool in habitat conservation for 77 years, but its ability to purchase and conserve important wild bird habitat has been greatly diminished by inflation and rising land prices. The purpose of the "Double Up for the Birds" campaign is to demonstrate to Congress that birders strongly support the program and are willing to pay more for the stamp in order to conserve bird habitat. These special stamps are available at US Post Offices everywhere.
This effort is part of a larger campaign led by Ducks Unlimited to increase the price of the federal conservation stamp. Since 1934, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp has added more than 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat in all 50 states to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The program is a highly efficient way for birding enthusiasts to invest in the future of their hobby by conserving habitat. In fact, 98 cents out of every dollar is spent to acquire land and protect habitat.
While the federal stamp has proved a valuable conservation tool, its buying power has not kept pace with inflation. The cost of the stamp has not increased since 1991, marking the longest period in the program's history without a price increase. Simply put, $15 is not what it used to be:
-Based on the Consumer Price Index, the stamp should cost $24.26 today to have the same buying power that $15 had in 1991.
-The total buying power of the stamp has decreased by 64 percent since 1991.
-In 1991, revenue from the stamp enabled the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to acquire 89,000 acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System at an average cost of $306 per acre. In 2010, the USFWS was able to acquire only 32,000 acres because land values had tripled to an average of $1,091 per acre.
WBCA supports these efforts to ensure that the investment made to protect birding habitat over the last 77 years is sustained into the future. It is up to conservationists and all who enjoy wetlands and birding to continue the conservation legacy of the federal stamp program. For these reasons, WBCA supports legislation to immediately increase the price of the stamp from $15 to $25 to allow the program's revenues to keep pace with inflation.
Increasing the price of the stamp takes an act of Congress so to encourage Congress to act, birders and other conservationists must show elected officials that their constituents care about conservation issues. Increased sales that occur when conservationists 'double up' on stamps purchased will conserve more habitat and show Congress that birders and other conservationists are committed to this issue.
The Wild Bird Centers of America (www.wildbird.com) is a national franchise system supporting wild bird and nature specialty stores throughout the United States and Canada.
Contact: George Petrides, Sr. at (301) 841-6404 or george at wildbird.com.
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