Wisconsin’s Waterfowl Stamp:
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp has generated more than fourteen million dollars for habitat work since its inception in 1978. Projects include wetland restoration and protection, wetland development, and management, including increased and improved public access for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.
First issued in 1978 at a price of $3.25, the stamp price was increased in 1991 to $5.25 and again in 1997 to $7.00. Now, the price of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp has not been raised for nearly 20 years. The combined affects of inflation, increasing user demand, an enlarged public land base, and the cost of maintenance for significant wetland infrastructure means many habitat activities are going unfunded, as the pool of funding created by the sale of the stamp, falls far short of what is needed to keep up with what is needed by stamp-funded projects. 2010 WI Waterfowl Stamp Price Increase Proposal trifold brochure
WWA’s efforts to increase stamp funding:
Starting in 2010 & 2011, and again in 2015, WWA partnered with representatives from Ducks Unlimited and the WI Wildlife Federation, and met with leaders in our legislative bodies, in hopes of convincing them of the desire of hunters to have this fee increased, due to its important utilization for specific purposes.
An increase in the stamp fee to $12 has been sought, to at least return the “buying power” of the stamp to where it was in 1997, when adjusted for inflation.
In support of these efforts, several supporting documents were created, articles published, surveys taken, etc.
Unfortunately, the effort in 2011 gained no traction in the midst of a “no new taxes” culture, and in 2015, the concerted efforts of Representative Al Ott, to have the measure added to the bi-annual budget package, with the support once again, of WWA & DU, fell short as well.
At the end of 2014, President Obama signed the long-awaited increase in the Federal Migratory Bird Stamp, increasing the fee for this tool of conservation to $25, its first increase since 1991.
We remain hopeful that at some point in the future, we will be able to produce a similar update for Wisconsin, so that the power of the “Duck Stamp” can once again be replenished for conservation works in our state.