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Friday, February 24, 2017

WATERFOWL ARTWORK GOING ON DISPLAY

Federal Duck Stamp entries can be viewed at Game Commission’s headquarters in early March.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission, partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art and the Pennsylvania Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, is hosting a display of the original waterfowl artwork, including the painting selected for the 2016-17 Federal Duck Stamp.

The display can be viewed on weekdays from March 6 through March 15 at the Game Commission’s headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg. The building is open on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Thursday, March 9, a special evening viewing is planned from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is open to the public and will feature light refreshments and door prizes.

Among other works displayed are the winner of the Junior Federal Duck Stamp Program and select originals from the Pennsylvania Duck Stamp program, including originals by the famed artist, Ned Smith.

Federal Duck Stamps are miniature works of art, and they are prized by stamp collectors around the world. This event is an excellent opportunity to see, in person, the original artwork that was submitted for the current Federal Duck Stamp. Also known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, the Federal Duck Stamp was conceived in 1934, when Congress passed and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act (later amended to the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Act).

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds an art contest, the only juried art competition sponsored by the federal government. Any artist 18 years old or older may enter, and the winning artist sees his or her work featured as the design on the following year's Federal Duck Stamp.

One of the easiest ways to support bird-habitat conservation is by buying Federal Duck Stamps – among the most successful conservation tools ever created to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife. Federal Duck Stamps are conservation revenue stamps; 98 percent of the purchase price goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat and purchase conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Currently, Pennsylvania is home to three National Wildlife Refuges (NWR), Erie, Cherry Valley and John Heinz NWRs.

While waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older are required to purchase Federal Duck Stamps, a valid Federal Duck Stamp also serves as a free pass into any NWR that charges an entry fee.

Those interested also can support the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s conservation efforts by purchasing a Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamp. This program began in 1983 and continues to this day. Revenues from this stamp are deposited in the Game Fund to protect, manage and conserve wildlife habitat throughout the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania Waterfowl Management Stamps will be available for purchase at this event. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Game Commission sells the Federal Duck Stamp through the eDuck program, and eDuck stamps will be available for purchase at this event, as well.

The celebrate Pennsylvania’s rich hunting and conservation history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission introduced the “Waterfowl Heritage Collection.” This five-year series features a specific species each year on a 4-inch patch and a Pennsylvania-made call. Display cases are available for both patches and calls and would make a great addition to any home or office. This series will be on display during this event. Orders may be placed for these items at http://www.theoutdoorshop.state.pa.us/FBG/game/GameProductSelect.asp?ShopperID=CEDF74858B9441CAA82F19E5ABC82C23 or during this event.

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