I am a bird, nature and wildlife photographer. I am a nature lover, a citizen scientist, and a lover of the great outdoors. I am fascinated by insects, vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, topography, geology and the unique environments I see and travel to. I am a star watcher. I am a hunter of knowledge about our natural world and a conservationist. I am an advocate who wants to protect the wildlife habitats that the National Wildlife Refuge system contains.
I am also a non-consumptive user of the National Wildlife Refuge system who supports the creation of a Wildlife Conservation Stamp which could provide a revenue stream for the National Wildlife Refuges to preserve and protect the existing 560 wildlife refuges and promote the creation of more.
A 2011 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted 71.1 million wildlife watchers in the U.S., and 13.7 million hunters, wildlife watchers and non-consumptive users are increasing whereas the number of hunters are decreasing. The Duck Stamp program can only do so much to provide revenue for the National Wildlife Refuge system and the creation of a Wildlife Refuge Stamp could provide a parallel revenue stream that is needed during this time of budget cuts and austerity.
If only a quarter of the 71.1 million wildlife watchers in the U.S. spent $20.00 on a Wildlife Conservation Stamp that could provide a revenue of $568 million dollars. $55 billion dollars each year is spent by wildlife watchers in pursuit of wildlife activities and that is a great benefit to local economies.
I am a supporter of the Wildlife Conservation Stamp which could create a community of wildlife watchers, birders, nature photographers, artists and the nature loving general population who share a commitment and passion for wildlife and who want to be proactive in protecting, preserving and maintaining the National Wildlife Refuge System today and for the future for everyone.
Many refuges today do not have adequate funds for operational costs that involve maintenance and administration or educational programs. Without adequate funding programs that reduce invasive species suffer, habitats are not restored or maintained, illegal activities such as poaching rise with less staff to go out into the field and wildlife suffers.
I do not know why it has taken so long for a Wildlife Conservation Stamp to be created. Isn’t it time? Right now when funding cuts are hitting the refuges hard?
The future of our Wildlife Refuges depend on all of us whether we are hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, birders, nature photographers or nature lovers. A Wildlife Conservation Stamp and the additional revenues could help to save them.
Ask birders, photographers, wildlife photographers and wildlife watchers if they think spending $20.00 on a Wildlife Conservation Stamp is too much to help our National Wildlife Refuges and I’m certain that the majority would open their wallets so they can be counted and so their voices can be heard.
Please visit the website for the creation of the Federal Wildlife Conservation Stamp at http://wildlifeconservationstamp.org/the-proposal for more information. If you support the Wildlife Conservation Stamp please leave a comment or send in your bio to the email address on the “About Us” page.
This is a win/win proposal for the National Wildlife Refuge System and for everyone who visits them. For every person who is concerned about the future of out National Wildlife Refuges and for every organization who supports conservation of our public lands and the nation’s wildlife.
* Think about it, the cost of a Wildlife Conservation Stamp is usually less than the cost of a fast food lunch for a family of four.