Begich Statement on Delay of Sportsmen’s Package, Duck Stamp Bill
U.S. Senator Mark Begich today made the following statement on the Senate’s early morning motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the sportsmen's bill. It passed early this morning by a vote of 84-7 and includes Begich’s bill to improve the Duck Stamp Program.
“I’m pleased that the Senate moved forward with Senator Tester’s Sportsmen’s Package but disappointed the final vote is being put off until November. The bill includes important measures for hunters and fishermen, including my Duck Stamp Act to help preserve waterfowl habitat.
The Sportsmen’s Act supports habitat conservation including Begich’s bill to improve the Duck Stamp Program. Since 1934 Duck Stamps have generated $750 million to protect wetland habitat. Ninety-eight cents of every Duck Stamp dollar goes directly to preserving wetlands – more than 5 million acres so far.
Begich’s bill addresses two issues with duck stamps. It allows the Secretary of Interior to reevaluate the price of Duck Stamps every three years and recommend increases. The current price of $15 hasn’t changed since 1991 and has lost over half of its value due to inflation.
It also allows grant limited waivers to be granted from the fee, such as the subsistence users in Alaska who’ve already done their part for wetlands conservation with millions of acres of Native lands set aside as refuges or in some other protected status.