Those who purchase a 2016 Connecticut Duck Stamp will find it depicts three Atlantic brant. The painting by wildlife artist Jeffrey Klinefelter of Indiana was the winner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) 2015-16 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Art Contest.
The stamps may be purchased for $13 at the town clerk’s office.
Klinefelter’s painting was chosen out of 11 entries submitted by artists from across the country, including two from Connecticut. Paintings were judged in five categories: originality, artistic composition, anatomical correctness, general rendering, and suitability for reproduction. A pair of Canada geese painted by Christine Clayton, of Ohio was voted a very close second and a painting of three bufflehead by Broderick Crawford of Georgia placed third.
The DEEP Wildlife Division encourages local artists to submit paintings for this contest. So far, few local artists have entered the contest or won the top prize. The top three paintings are on display in the lobby of DEEP at 79 Elm Street, Hartford, and may be viewed by visitors weekdays from 8 to 5.
The Connecticut Duck Stamp Program was initiated in the early 1990s when concerned sportsmen worked with DEEP to develop legislation that would generate revenue for wetland conservation. Modeled after the federal Duck Stamp Program, Connecticut’s program requires the purchase of a state Duck Stamp, along with a hunting license, to legally hunt waterfowl. By state law, funds generated from the sale of duck stamps can only be used for the development, management, preservation, conservation, acquisition, purchase, and maintenance of waterfowl habitat and wetlands, as well as the purchase and acquisition of recreational rights or interests relating to migratory birds.
The duck stamp program has generated over $1.4 million for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats, as well as garnered additional monies through matching grants from federal conservation initiatives. By combining duck stamp funds with these additional monies, more than $4 million have been available for wildlife conservation projects.More than 3,445 acres of wetlands in the state have been restored or enhanced using duck stamp funds. The funds also have been used to purchase 75 acres of critical wildlife habitat and conduct habitat projects at more than 50 sites statewide.
Reproduction prints of the winning duck stamps that are signed by the artists are available for purchase. Call 860-418-5959 for details.
To learn more about the Connecticut Duck Stamp and the art contest, visit ct.gov/deep/ctduckstamp.