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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Bang for the Duck

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By Dawn Lim

The Federal Duck Stamp Office, part of the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service, has a strategy for saving waterfowl that might at first seem counterproductive: selling rights to hunt them.

The office's "duck stamps" serve as licenses required for hunting migratory waterfowl, but 98 cents out of every dollar from their sales will be used to purchase or lease wetland habitat for conservation. Talk about bang for the buck.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced this week that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which oversees the establishment of waterfowl refuges, approved $5.3 million in Federal Duck Stamp funds for wetland and wildlife conservation. Since 1934, sales of these stamps have generated more than $750 million to purchase and lease over 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat nationwide.

Not everyone buys duck stamps for hunting. Some might prefer to just collect and admire them. Check out the first duck stamp issued in 1934.

Amelia Gruber covered management and contracting for Government Executive for three years before becoming an editor. She also has worked as an editor at Roll Call newspaper and as a research assistant at the Urban Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, with a major in economics, and a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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