Saving a way of life

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The 2012 N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition was held Monday at the Washington Civic Center. The competition is run by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, with assistance from the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild.

Although the annual competition determines the artwork that will be used for the duck stamp for the next waterfowl-hunting season, it’s the revenue generated by sales of those duck stamps that’s important.

Revenue from sales of prints of the winning entries and stamps go to the commission’s Waterfowl Fund, which provides money for the conservation of waterfowl habitat in North Carolina. The fund has raised more than $4.2 million since its inception.

“The money is used to help North Carolina meet its financial obligations in implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the international agreement helping restore waterfowl populations throughout the continent. In addition, funds have been used to support waterfowl research and to buy equipment used to manage wetlands,” according to the commission’s Web site.

With waterfowl hunting an important element of eastern North Carolina’s economy and culture, it makes sense to protect the waterfowl habitat so waterfowl will continue to winter in eastern North Carolina.

While the winner of the annual duck-stamp competition benefits financially, waterfowl and waterfowl habitat benefit, too. Preserving waterfowl habitat means preserving a way of life that’s been a part of eastern North Carolina since before man first set foot here.