67% federal duck stamp price increase

The US Senate has passed S.2621/H.R.5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act, which was passed by the House last month, and increases the price of federal duck stamps from $15 to $25 (a whopping 67% increase). The last price increase was in 1991. Meanwhile, there has been no commensurate long-term increase in the opportunity to hunt ducks or in the number of ducks to hunt, though to be fair the cost of things purchased with duck stamp money has increased.

In addition to the price change, the bill prohibits new land acquisitions and requires the revenues generated from the fee increase to be used solely for migratory bird easements. I’m not sure what the difference is between an easement and an acquisition. The bill also gives the Department of the Interior the authority to lower the price of the stamps if the price changes result in less revenue generated for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (Economics 101: Supply and Demand).

S.2621 was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and cosponsored by Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK), John Boozman (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). HR.5069 was introduced by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.

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