Looks like we might be able to save some postage soon:
House passes Electronic Duck Stamp Act
Legislation would allow hunters and fishermen to obtainlicenses online
Washington - The House ofRepresentatives today passed S. 1496, TheElectronic Duck Stamp Act, on a vote of 358 to 4. The measureauthorizes a three-year pilot program for 15 states to issue electronicFederal migratory bird hunting stamps. After three years,Congress will determine whether to make this program permanent.
"This bill will help usher the duck stampprogram into the 21st Century by allowing hunters and fishermen toobtain necessary licenses online," Resources Chairman Richard W. Pombo(R-Calif.) said. "By passing this bill today, we are enhancing theprogram and providing for increased customer convenience."
Under the terms of the bill, the Fish and WildlifeService (FWS) would conduct a three-year pilot program that would begin afterthe first full Federal migratory waterfowl hunting season followingenactment. FWS will review and approve those state applications that describethe format of the electronic stamp to be issued; a description of any feesfor the issuance; the process for accounting for and transferring proceeds tothe FWS; how customer data will be transmitted; the process of delivering theactual printed duck stamp; and the procedures for issuing duplicateelectronic stamps.
In addition, S. 1496 allows the federal governmentand participating states to charge a reasonable fee to recover theiradministrative costs but stipulates that an individual is not required topurchase a state hunting license as a condition for obtaining a Federalelectronic duck stamp. This stamp would be valid for a period of up to 45days and the actual printed stamp must be delivered prior to that deadline.The measure also requires the FWS to determine whether the electronic programhas increased the availability of stamps, satisfied customer serviceobjectives, maintained the traditional stamps as an effective conservationtool and maintained adequate retail availability of the actual stamp.
The first Federal duck stamp was issued in 1934.Since that time, hunters and wildlife art enthusiasts have purchased morethan 122 million stamps that have produced more than $700 million inrevenues. With those funds, the Migratory Bird Commission has conserved morethan 5.2 million acres of land to provide essential habitat for countlessmigratory birds.