Senate Bill Introduced To Raise Price Of Federal Duck Stamp

Thursday, December 19, 2013
The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program's history, with the last increase bringing the price to $15 in 1991. Yet the value of the duck stamp has decreased by 40 percent as the price of land has tripled.
The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program's history, with the last increase bringing the price to $15 in 1991. Yet the value of the duck stamp has decreased by 40 percent as the price of land has tripled.

A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, to increase the price of the federal duck stamp to $25. The current price of $15 was set more than 20 years ago, in 1991.

"We appreciate the introduction of a federal duck stamp increase bill by Senators Begich, Baucus, Coons and Tester to meet very real on-the-ground wetland habitat conservation needs. We are committed to seeing this legislation signed into law and look forward to working with Senators on both sides of the aisle to enact this," said DU CEO Dale Hall. 
 
Since its enactment in 1934, the federal duck stamp program has protected more than six million acres of wetlands – an area the size of Vermont – through expenditures of more than $750 million.
This has contributed to the conservation of more than 2.5 million acres in the Prairie Pothole Region, including the protection of 7,000 waterfowl production areas totaling 675,000 acres.
 
Land values have drastically increased since the last price increase in the 1990s. In Minnesota, for example, land has increased from an average price of $400 to $1,400 an acre since 1998, an increase of 250 percent. While the duck stamp price remains stagnant, the cost to conserve land and habitats that host waterfowl and other species has increased dramatically. At its current price, the buying power of the federal duck stamp has never been lower over its 79-year history. The Congressional Budget Office found that because the federal duck stamp is a user fee, such a price increase would have no net impact on federal spending.
 
"Once again, sportsmen and women have demonstrated their willingness to pay for conservation by supporting a long-overdue increase from $15 to $25. With 98 cents of every $1 from duck stamp receipts going to conserve wetlands habitat, it is vital that the cost of the stamp keep up with inflation and land acquisition costs," Mr. Hall said.

Secretary Jewell Announces Decision To Protect 75,000 Acres Of Eastern Tennessee Mountains From Future Surface Mining

At the request of the State of Tennessee, the Department of the Interior has agreed to designate approximately 75,000 acres of mountain ridgelines as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. Today’s action helps protect a spectacular area of eastern Tennessee that is critical to the region’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy, provides valuable fish and wildlife habitat ... (click for more)

Alexander Given Scenic Byway Trailblazer Award

Senator Lamar Alexander was one of two recipients on Tuesday, of the Scenic Byway Trailblazer Award from Scenic America, the National Scenic Byway Foundation and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Senator Alexander was recognized at an event celebrating the 25 th  anniversary of the National Scenic Byways Program. He said, “When I was governor of Tennessee ... (click for more)

County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding

County school board members are gearing up to set priorities for the next round of new school construction in Hamilton County. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said officials may know by the spring how much money will be available to build new schools or add on to existing ones - or do a combination of both. Board member Rhonda Thurman said a proposal to build a new Chattanooga ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)