Waterfowl stamps fund wetlands

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Program continues to generate revenue to fund wetland projects throughout the state.

More than $6.7 million has been raised for 19,500 acres with the Waterfowl Stamp fund, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

A variety of sources have funded the project, including Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, Partners for Fish Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado, CPW, and hunters and non-hunters.

The project is designed to improve the habitat for ducks, geese and more than 500 other species of shorebirds, songbirds, amphibians and reptiles. Stamps are $5 for hunting waterfowl and can be purchased by people ages 16 and older. The proceeds are strictly for the use of wetlands-conservation projects.

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp was authorized in 1989 by the passage of Senate Bill 102, sponsored by former state Sen. Tillman Bishop of Grand Junction. The bill authorized the production of a stamp from original artwork with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to solicit and market the artwork.

The first stamp, a pair of Canada geese over the South Platte River, was produced in 1990. Initially, Ducks Unlimited managed the artwork production, but more recently the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation has assumed this role.

Colorado requires all waterfowl hunters to buy a Colorado hunting license (either a small game or a combination license) with a Colorado duck stamp verification, in addition to the federal duck stamp. An actual stamp can be requested at the time the hunting license is purchased and will be mailed to the purchaser.

Visit the Wetlands Program page online to find information on types of wetlands, lists of wetland-dependent species, project reports on wetland projects in Colorado, and a description of how the Waterfowl Stamp Program fits in Colorado’s overall wetlands-conservation effort. Collector Waterfowl Stamps (which do not afford hunting privileges) are available at the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, as well as previous years stamps.

—Allen Gemaehlich