Friday, October 24, 2008

Josh Spies Wins 2008 Federal Duck Stamp Competition

One of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a wildlife artist is to have their artwork chosen to adorn the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. More commonly known as the “Duck Stamp”, it is the primary funder of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System land acquisition and conservation program. Since 1934, the Federal Duck Stamp program has raised more than $750 million to purchase nearly six million acres of wildlife habitat.

Josh and Service Director Dale Hall

Josh edged out a field of over 270 entries in this year’s selection contest. His painting of a long-tailed duck and decoy lends a narrative element to the image that embodies the concept for which the stamp was created. The 1967-1968 Duck Stamp featured the species when they were referred to as “Old Squaws,” making long tailed ducks the first water fowl to be featured as stamps under two names.
Hats off to Josh on this singular achievement!

The winning entry

P.S. A last bit of Duck Stamp trivia: The 2008-2009 featured a typo in the toll-free number that sent people seeking additional copies of the Duck Stamp to a phone sex service. Bet you won’t see a fowl-up like that again! (Sorry, Josh, couldn’t resist.)

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