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Old 01-24-2006, 12:52 PM
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Default Entries sought for Junior Duck Stamp art contest

STUDENTS INVITED TO COMPETE IN JUNIOR DUCK STAMP ART CONTEST

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's annual Junior Duck Stamp art contest is once again underway in New Mexico. Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade are invited to submit their unique designs of North American waterfowl before the midnight deadline on March 15, 2006.

The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design program is an art and science program developed for schools by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to teach students about wetlands habitat and waterfowl conservation. This program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum that crosses cultural, ethnic, social, and geographic boundaries to teach greater awareness of our nation_s natural resources.

“The program presents a fun way for students to learn more about both science and art as they create a unique, accurate, and visually appealing depiction of a duck or other waterfowl for the contest," said Kim King-Wrenn, the New Mexico Junior Duck Coordinator. “The science portion of the curriculum looks at such aspects as the bird's anatomy and natural habitat, and the art element of the project promotes understanding of artistic criteria such as proportion and color.”

Entries will be judged at the state level in four grade groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. For each age group there will be three first place winners, who will receive a $100 savings bond.

From these 12 winners, judges will select a Best of Show winner. The Best of Show winner will receive a $500 scholarship, and his or her entry is then entered in the national Junior Duck Stamp contest. The national first place winner receives $5,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the First Day of Sales Ceremony. Best of Show entries will be displayed at waterfowl festivals, wildlife museums, and galleries throughout the United States.

Each year the Junior Duck Stamp is created from the first place design from the national contest. The duck stamps are sold for $5 each by the post office, national wildlife refuges, major sporting goods stores, and on the internet. Proceeds support conservation education, and provide awards and scholarships for the students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.

Students interested in submitting a design can get a booklet that includes contest procedures, design requirements, and an entry form, as well as pictures of last year's winners. The contest regulations booklet can be found online at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/ or can be requested from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (505-864-4021). Entries should be sent to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 1248, Socorro, NM, 87801, Attn: Kim King-Wrenn.

“One of the things about this program that amazes me is that last year New Mexico was one of the top states in the nation for the number of participants in the contest, which is impressive since it is a state with one of the lower populations,” said King-Wrenn. “Students in New Mexico are fortunate tohave opportunities to learn about wildlife with refuges spread throughout the state from Maxwell in the north to Bitter Lake in the south.”

Last year students in New Mexico's public, private, and home school groups submitted 530 entries. The Best of Show award went to Oscar Urbina, 17, from Gadsen High School in Anthony, NM. His colored pencil design titled Duck Family went on to receive an honorable mention in the national contest. The 2006 contest booklet featured another New Mexico student artist's design, a mixed media piece titled Canvasback on the River,created by Joshua Hittle, 9, from Gateway Christian School in Roswell, NM.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
Pictured is the winning design from 2005 by Sherri Russel Meline of a Ross' Goose.

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