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Duck Stamp Legislation Passes House with Exemption for Alaskan Subsistence Hunters

Washington, D.C. – Legislation to address the price of federal duck stamps – a permit required to hunt migratory waterfowl – passed the House of Representatives today with an amendment included by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to exempt Alaskan subsistence hunters from being required to purchase the annual permit. H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which passed the House by voice vote, would increase the price of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25.

  Congressman Young discussing the passage of H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act (click here to listen)

“For many years, subsistence users in Alaska were not required to purchase a stamp, but this changed due to a recent solicitor’s opinion,” said Congressman Young. “Subsistence hunters are not sport hunters. Instead, they are hunting waterfowl to feed their families. While I support raising the price of the duck stamp for sportsmen, myself included, we should not be adding a burden to individuals who rely on subsistence hunting as a means to feed their families. Alaska Natives, and frankly all Alaskans, have done their part to preserve waterfowl habitat and other lands. Tens of millions of acres in Alaska are already tied up in some sort of conservation designation. As a result, none of the funds generated by the duck stamp are spent in Alaska.”

Congressman Young’s amendment, which applies to Alaskan subsistence hunters residing in rural areas, would effectively reverse a 2001 policy decision by the Department of Interior Regional Solicitor that requires all subsistence duck hunters to purchase federal duck stamps.

In addition to providing relief for hunters who rely on the resource as a critical food supply, Congressman Young believes his amendment will remove a significant burden for those residing in small Alaskan villages, who often encounter difficulties in obtaining a federal duck stamp due to the limited access to post offices and the Internet.

The provision Congressman Young spearheaded has received support from numerous rural and Alaska Native organizations, including the Association of Village Council Presidents and the North Slope Borough.

 

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