The Vermont Habitat Stamp raised $221,337 in 2022 and leveraged a $228,567 federal match, totaling just under $450,000 for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s land conservation and habitat improvement efforts, according to a news release from the Agency of Natural Resources May 2.
“This is our second strongest year for the Habitat Stamp since the program was established in 2015,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Lands and Habitat Program Manager John Austin. “The growing support for habitat conservation and enhancement reflected in healthy Habitat Stamp sales over the past eight years is encouraging.”
The Vermont Habitat Stamp is designed to allow anyone who cares about conservation to help improve habitat for species as diverse as pollinators, songbirds, migratory fish, and large mammals. Habitat Stamp funds go towards both land acquisitions adding to the department’s more than 130,000 acres of Wildlife Management Area (WMA) properties, and implementing habitat improvement projects across the state.
In 2022, the department spent $168,532 from the Habitat Stamp Fund. These dollars contributed to removing dams to increase stream connectivity for brook trout, controlling the spread of invasive plants that diminish the quality of shelter and forage for native insects and birds, and expanding the Otter Creek WMA in Wallingford.
The Habitat Stamp was inspired by Vermont Migratory Waterfowl Stamp and Federal Duck Stamp programs, which raise funds for wetland conservation from waterfowl hunters who are required to display a stamp along with their license. The Habitat Stamp is a way for conservationists who do not typically purchase a hunting, fishing, or trapping license to contribute to the state’s habitat conservation efforts.
“Although we can be proud of the Habitat Stamp Fund’s accomplishments this year, there is still room to grow,” said Austin. “We especially invite Vermonters who do not contribute to conservation by buying a hunting, fishing, or trapping license to consider buying a habitat stamp. It is one of the most direct ways to funnel your dollars to supporting biodiversity in our state.”