By Erik Wasson - 12/19/13 05:27 PM EST
A group of Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to increase the price of duck stamps from $15 to $25.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) is the lead sponsor of the bill. It is also supported by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
The legislation allows the first increase in the duck stamp since 1991 and would pave the way for a $30 stamp in five years. It also contains a waiver for subsistence hunters.The stamps, purchased by duck hunters, are used to pay for wetlands conservation.
“Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection, successfully raising hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation efforts. But since the price of a stamp hasn’t changed in over twenty years, it’s lost over half of its value,” Begich said in a press release.
The legislation is supported by the conservation group Ducks Unlimited.
“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 CEO Dale Hall.
Established in 1934, the Duck Stamp program has raised $750 million and preserved over five million acres of wetlands critical for waterfowl conservation.
The wetlands also support the activities of sportsmen, birders and subsistence users.