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U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced legislation to make the Federal Duck Stamp more accessible, decrease barriers to compliance and increase revenue for conservation by authorizing an electronic stamp for use through the entirety of a waterfowl hunting season.
The bipartisan Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 will allow hunters immediate access to an electronic duck stamp via their smart phone to meet the requirement that they purchase a Federal Duck Stamp and carry it while in the field.
“Arkansas’s world-class duck hunting environment attracts sportsmen and women from around the globe. Making it easier for these outdoor enthusiasts to access the required permits they need to comply with the law will encourage participation in this long-standing tradition and help preserve waterfowl habitat for future generations,” said Boozman, a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which invests federal funds generated by the Duck Stamp in wetland preservation.
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and as an avid sportsman myself, I know firsthand how important our hunting and fishing culture is to who we are as West Virginians and Americans,” said Manchin. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan Duck Stamp Modernization Act to authorize a simple, electronic duck stamp that hunters in West Virginia and across the country can use for the entire waterfowl season. The new electronic stamp will expand access and reduce barriers to enjoying duck hunting and the great outdoors, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation.”
“Some of my fondest memories include hunting with my dad and now with my own sons back in Kansas. This is common sense legislation to make accessing duck stamps easier and drive more dollars to conservation programs so that families can continue to experience America’s vast wilderness for years to come,” Marshall said.
“From Bean Boots to Old Town Canoes, generations of Maine people have pioneered innovations to make getting outdoors easier. Decades later, this same commitment still drives sportsmen and women across our state and is the guiding principle of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus,” said King. “The Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 would embrace 21st century technology to put required duck hunting stamps just a phone tap away –making the great outdoors more accessible than ever. I’m proud to join my fellow Sportsmen’s Caucus members on this bill and hope we can continue making recreational activities a simple pursuit for all.”
Duck Stamps will still be available for purchase from the post office and other authorized retailers.
The Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023 builds off a successful pilot program validating E-Stamps for 45 days and extends use for the entire waterfowl season. Arkansas and 27 other states currently participate in the pilot program.
“I am very proud of Senator Boozman’s leadership to simplify the Federal Duck Stamp program. Arkansas is the duck hunting capital of the world, not just because of our habitat, but more importantly because Arkansans so deeply treasure the natural resources. Cutting red tape and reducing barriers for law-abiding waterfowlers is a wonderful way to recognize their vital contributions to both conservation and the outdoor economy,” said Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Austin Booth.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Ducks Unlimited also support the legislation.
“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) thanks Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Boozman for introducing the Duck Stamp Modernization Act of 2023. By modernizing the electronic Federal Duck Stamp, this legislation safeguards the time-honored, artistic importance of the actual stamp, while also streamlining the licensing process for waterfowl hunters,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “As a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Sen. Boozman knows and appreciates the value of the Federal Duck Stamp, but also seeks to bring the licensing requirement into line with the electronic era of issuing hunting licenses.”
“The Duck Stamp is one of the best returns on investment in conservation,” said Nick Wiley, Ducks Unlimited Chief Operating Officer. “The contributions from hunters have an outsized impact on the stamp’s total investment, and this legislation will ensure waterfowlers can fully utilize their electronic stamp to get the most out of their season. We appreciate Sen. Boozman for introducing this bill, and DU fully supports it.”