Since 1934, sales of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps have contributed over $800 million and protected over 6 million acres of habitat in our national refuge system. Each refuge is managed as a protected haven for birds and other wildlife. The Stamps cost only $15 and it’s easy for everyone to purchase – nearly all Post Offices carry them. Even better, it is extremely cost-effective: fully 98¢ out of every dollar ($14.70) goes directly to acquire land for the refuge system. This $15-purchase is perhaps the single simplest thing one can do to support a legacy of wetland and grassland conservation for birds. The funds not only go to refuges, but since 1958, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has used a portion of the Stamp revenues to purchase wetland and grassland habitats within the Prairie Pothole Region of the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains through their Small Wetlands Acquisition Program. The FWS also began purchasing permanent grassland easements to conserve existing habitat for prairie nesting birds. Scores of other bird species (numerous kinds of shorebirds, long-legged waders, and wetland and grassland songbirds) are dependent on habitat derived from Stamp purchases. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, and butterflies, all flourish through Stamp investments. Water quality is also strengthened. A Stamp is a “free pass” for an entire year for a vehicle full of people at all refuges that charge for admission.
Refuges and percentage paid for by Stamp purchases: Bosque del Apache in New Mexico–99.2%; Horicon in Wisconsin–98.7%; Muskatatuk in Indiana–98.9%; Bombay Hook in Delaware–95.1%; Santa Ana in Texas–94.9%; Ottawa in Ohio–86.4%; and 99.8% of all Water-fowl Production Areas in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.