Migratory Bird Conservation Fund

Migratory Bird Conservation Fund

The Migratory Bird Conservation Fund has helped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquire more than 4 million acres of migratory bird habitat by fee purchase, easement, or lease since the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act in 1929. These funds are allocated at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior as delegated to the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

There are four major sources for money for the Fund. The most well-known source is the revenue received from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, as provided for under the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act of March 18, 1934, as amended. 

The other three major sources include:

  • appropriations authorized by the Wetlands Loan Act of 1961; 
  • import duties collected on arms and ammunition; and 
  • receipts from the sale of refuge admission permits as provided for by the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986. 

The Fund is further supplemented by receipts from the sale of products from rights-of-way across national wildlife refuges, disposals of refuge land, and reverted Federal Aid funds.

Small Wetland Program

Congress officially created the Small Wetland Program in 1958, amending the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act to allow proceeds from the sale of federal Duck Stamps to be used to protect waterfowl habitat. 

The habitat protected through the Small Wetland Program consists of small wetlands, and surrounding grassland habitat, primarily in the U.S. portion of the Prairie Pothole Region that extends from central Iowa through Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. These areas, protected in perpetuity through fee-title acquisition or easement, are called waterfowl production areas. Since its creation 50 years ago, the program has protected nearly 3 million acres of habitat, mainly in the prairie pothole region.

Learn More

Migratory Bird Conservation Commission

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