Wetlands center now selling Duck Stamps

Federal Duck Stamp

by Rachel Rayner
Hunters and nature enthusiasts can now purchase Federal Duck Stamps at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center gift shop.

The Wetlands Center, managed by Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History, is located at 592 NE K-156 Highway, on the edge of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area about 10 miles northeast of downtown Great Bend.

Waterfowl hunters over 15 years old must purchase federal duck stamps in addition to yearly hunting licenses. Ninety-eight percent of each $25 stamp is used to acquire and protect wetlands areas.

Curtis Wolf, KWEC manager, said that more than 91 percent of the 22,135-acre Quivira refuge was bought with funds raised by Duck Stamps.

"It's one of the most efficient ways to donate," he said.

The stamps are popular among bird watchers, nature-lovers and stamp collectors. Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsors the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, and the winning design is used for the following year.

The Wetlands Center will also sell key chains to display the stamps. Visitors can also find field guides, work from local artists and photographers and a variety of other items made in Kansas.

The KWEC educates the public about the importance of wetlands and the need for their conservation using interactive exhibits and outreach programs focusing on Cheyenne Bottoms and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, both of which are popular among waterfowl hunters.

For more information, visit www.wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu.

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