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Begich Sponsors Duck Stamp Rate Hike

Senator Mark Begich

One of the premier sources of funding for preserving wetlands may receive a rate increase.  KDLG’s Chase Cavanaugh has more.

A new piece of legislation has been introduced to raise the rates on Federal Duck Stamps.  The adhesives, first issued in 1934 under the Roosevelt Administration, need to be purchased by duck and goose hunters before they go out for game, with the funds being used to support wetland preservation.  US Senator Mark Begich is sponsoring a bill that would raise the cost of these stamps, as they haven’t seen a rate increase since 1991. 

“Ducks Unlimited, the group that is out there supporting groups like this, and duck hunters across the nation, have been asking for this increase for years because they want to protect more habitat. This money goes directly to protect habitat, protect areas for duck hunting and also wetlands and other conservation. I’ve joined up with Senator Vitter from Louisiana, a republican, and we are teamed up to move this bill forward.”

The measure was originally going to be part of the Bipartisan Sportsman’s Act, which was rejected earlier this year due to procedural issues.  Begich says the measure enjoys broad bipartisan support, but currently lacks a stamp waiver for subsistence hunters.

“If you’re a subsistence hunter, you’re hunting for food on your table and the necessity of survival, and we think there should be a waiver. Ducks Unlimited, the duck hunters don’t oppose this. We just need to work in an amendment if we can on this bill, but we’re anxious to move this bill forward in one form or another. I think we got a really clean bill, and a House version has also been introduced, which is a good signal.”

In addition to Begich, sponsors include Arkansas Republican John Boozeman, Delaware Democrat Chris Coons, Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, and Montana Democrat Jon Tester.