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2007 Federal Duck Stamp Unveiled in Springfield

Today is the first day you can buy the 2007 federal duck stamp. The ceremony that until now had always been held in Washington D.C. took place at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. KSMU's Jana Greer reports.

A ceremony was held today at Bass Pro Shops to introduce the 2007 duck stamp. Bass Pro has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is the exclusive seller of the stamp on its first day. The ceremony to unveil the duck stamp has usually been held at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. but today the ceremony came to the Ozarks. Martin McDonald is Bass Pro's Director of Conservation. He says the US Fish and Wildlife Service brought the ceremony to the Ozarks to connect with outdoor enthusiasts.

Local hunter Doug Hobson says he liked the ceremony better now than when it was held in Washington D.C.

The federal duck stamp was created in 1934. Anyone who hunts waterfowl has to have a duck stamp on their license but it has proven to be much more. The stamp plays a large role in wetland conservation because ninety-eight percent of the sales from the stamp go to the national wildlife refuge system. McDonald says the stamp is a way for people to help protect wildlife.

There were many people at the ceremony including the duck stamp artists, local hunters, wildlife officials and stamp collectors. The U.S. Postal Service was there to earmark any collector's first day purchase which adds value to the stamp. Bass Pro is holding a ceremony and unveiling the stamp in all 42 of its stores.

Since 1934 the stamp has generated enough money to purchase over 5.2 million acres of land for the National Wildlife Refuge System.