The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the winners of the 2016 Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Program. Jesse Erickson, age 16 of Powell, and Bailey Schupp, age 15, of Pinedale, will represent Wyoming in the Federal 2016 National Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The traveling exhibit is on display at the Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters in Cheyenne until the end of February.
Students also can include a “conservation message” with their art, which summarizes what they learned through the program. Erickson submitted this year’s winning conservation message: “Conserving wetlands and wildlife habitats is crucial not only for the wildlife, but also for future generations of people.” Wyoming’s 2016 Best of Show artwork is an oil painting of a harlequin drake, titled “Symphony of Blues” by Schupp.
The contest received 500 art entries from around the state, from artists in kindergarten up to 12th grade. An online gallery of the top 100 entries is available.
“All of the entries are incredible because they show the talent of Wyoming students and reveal their interest in wildlife. I congratulate our winning Wyoming artists and all the talented young people who participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program each year,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Scott Talbott. “Game and Fish wishes you both good luck in the national competition.”
Young Wyoming artists are competitive in the national contest. In 2015, Andrew Kneeland of Rock Springs won the Federal 2015 National Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
The artwork chosen by the panel of judges for Best of Show honors at the national level and will be used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp which will be released in June of 2017. The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service, Amplex Corporation, from many National Wildlife Refuges, as well as at www.duckstamp.com. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for students, teachers and schools participating in the Junior Duck Stamp Program.
The Wyoming Junior Duck Stamp Program is sponsored by the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge and Ducks Unlimited. A full list of contestants is available at the Seedskadee website.