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Artists sought for waterfowl competition

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is soliciting original artwork entries for the 2012 Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest.

This year’s species of focus is the Ross’s goose, a small white goose that is often confused with the snow goose.

The deadline for artists to submit entries is 4 p.m., Friday, March 2.

“We have a relatively large format entry for waterfowl stamp art and that really lets artists be creative with their depiction of the birds we choose each year,” said Brian Sullivan, who coordinates the waterfowl stamp program for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp program was implemented in 1990 and provides funding to conserve wetlands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older are required by state law to purchase a waterfowl stamp validation annually before hunting. In addition to hunters, many collectors aid in wetland conservation by purchasing collector stamps and prints that are created from the winning entry.

All revenue generated from the sale of the hunter version of the Waterfowl Stamp — more than $6.7 million to date — is used to fund wetlands projects throughout the state. Almost 20,000 acres of wetlands have been protected with Waterfowl Stamp funds so far. In 2011, waterfowl stamp funds were used to help improve water management at the Andrick Ponds State Wildlife Area in Morgan County, which is managed as a quality waterfowl-hunting property.

This year’s featured species, the Ross’s goose, is a white goose with black wingtips that looks like a miniature version of the larger and more abundant snow goose. Distinguishing between Ross’s goose and snow goose is typically easiest in flight, where the Ross’s shorter neck and smaller head is more apparent. Ross’s geese have been noted in many parts of Colorado, but they are generally spotted over the plains or in western Colorado during migrations between their Canadian tundra breeding grounds and their warmer southern wintering areas.

Artists who wish to enter the competition must submit a 13-inch high by 18-inch wide, full-color original artwork. There is a $50 fee for each entry. The winning entry will receive $3,500, with smaller cash prizes for second and third place as well. Complete requirements are explained in the application packet, which is available at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/Waterfowl/WaterfowlStampProgram/. Hunters can purchase the required $5 waterfowl stamp validation where hunting licenses are sold. The gum-backed stamp is available for a small additional fee.

Collector gum-backed stamps and art prints of the 2012 waterfowl stamp will be available for purchase in late July. Collector stamps and prints are sold through the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation also has past stamp winner prints available.

The Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation was created in 1989 as a result of Governor Roy Romer’s Wildlife 21 Task Force report, which recognized that Colorado’s abundant and diverse wildlife makes an immense contribution to the state’s economy and the quality of life in the state. It also found that declining hunting and fishing revenues were insufficient to protect wildlife habitat from the threats posed by development.

The Foundation was formed to raise money to help fill the gap between available hunting and fishing funds and wildlife needs. The Foundation focuses its efforts on habitat preservation, wildlife research, species recovery, responding to wildlife emergencies and educating people about wildlife.

For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, go to: http://www.cwhf.info/.

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