James Hautman, an artist from Chaska, Minnesota, has been named the winner of the 2010 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The announcement was made at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, Calif., during the annual competition hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hautman has previously won the Duck Stamp three times, in 1989, 1994 and 1998.
Hautman’s acrylic painting of a pair of white-fronted geese will be made into the 2011-2012 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2011. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $15 and raises about $25 million each year to provide critical funds for conserving wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.
Of 235 entries in this year’s two-day competition, 11 entries made it through to the final round of judging. Robert Hautman, from Delano, Minnesota, placed second with his acrylic painting of white-fronted goose. Robert Hautman, a two-time previous Duck Stamp Contest winner, is the brother of James Hautman.
Kip Richmond of Apex, North Carolina, took third place with an acrylic painting of a pair of brant.
In the final round of judging, James and Robert Hautman’s paintings were tied for first place. A tie-breaker vote was held to determine the winner.
“I’ll tell you what, it just leaves you speechless,” said James Hautman, who was in the auditorium as the judges voted his art the winner. “Even though I’ve won it before, it’s tough to breathe sitting out there.”
The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious federal wildlife art competition in America. The Service is grateful to all the artists and other participants for their efforts to help support our nation’s great outdoors.
“Once again, our panel of judges has chosen a beautiful work of art to grace our next Federal Duck Stamp,” said Dan Ashe, Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “My sincerest congratulations to James on his astounding fourth contest win and to all of the artists who entered this year. By entering the Duck Stamp Contest you are all playing a role in supporting one of the world’s most successful and effective conservation programs.”
This year’s five-judge panel included former California Secretary of Natural Resources Mike Chrisman; waterfowl biologist and professor John Eadie; wildlife artist Joe Garcia; retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Jerry Serie; and wildlife biologist and duck stamp expert Carlo Vecchiarelli. The alternate judge was Gary Kramer, an outdoor writer and photographer.
Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp – commonly known as the Duck Stamp when they are hunting. Conservationists, stamp collectors and others must also purchase the stamp in support of habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from the $15 Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund which supports the purchase of acres of wetlands for inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The cost of land acquisition continues to rise, resulting in reduced buying power for funds collected from stamp sales. The Service is proposing to increase the sale price of the Federal Duck Stamp from $15 to $25 beginning in Fiscal Year 2011 – the first price increase for the stamp since 1991. Increasing the price of a Federal Duck Stamp would bring an estimated $18 million to $23 million over revenues generated by the current $15 price, which would allow acquisition of approximately 7,000 additional waterfowl habitat areas in fee and approximately 10,000 additional conservation easement acres in 2011.
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have helped to purchase nearly six million acres of wildlife habitat for the Refuge System. To date, Duck Stamp funds have been used to acquire habitat at hundreds of refuges in nearly every state. There are 550 National Wildlife Refuges spread across all 50 states and U.S. territories. A current Duck Stamp may also be used for free admission to any national wildlife refuge open to the public. Refuges offer unparalleled wildlife oriented recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching and photography.