The U.S. Senate has approved legislation supported by the Mid-South congressional delegations that will direct more resources toward the conservation of waterfowl habitat through the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.
The Senate on Tuesday (Dec. 2) gave final congressional approval to the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which amends the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act to update the price of duck stamps for the first time since 1991.
HR.5069, which will now be sent to the White House, requires additional revenue from the sale of duck stamps to be used for conservation easements. The legislation is supported by Ducks Unlimited and other organizations.
“This is sound bipartisan legislation with support from hunting groups that will help ensure better protection of waterfowl and migratory bird habitat,” said Sen. That Cochran, R-Miss., a long-time member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission who cosponsored S.2621, the Senate version of the bill.
“The benefit of this program is that nearly 100 percent of the proceeds from the Duck Stamps go toward the protection of wetland habitat,” he said.
The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 will adjust the price of the duck stamps, which are required to hunt migratory waterfowl. The legislation prohibits new land acquisitions and requires the revenues generated from the fee increase to be used solely for migratory bird easements. The bill also gives the Department of the Interior authority to lower the price of the stamps if the price changes result in less revenue generated for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.
S.2621 was introduced by Senator David Vitter, R-La., and cosponsored by Cochran and others including Senators John Boozman of Arkansas; John Cornyn of Texas; and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. HR.5069, introduced by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., was passed by the House on Nov. 17, 2014.
For more on Duck Stamps visit http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/