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WCS NEWS RELEASE
Congress Returns Wildlife Stamp to Senders
September 09, 2014
House and Senate Reauthorize the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, Which Expired in 2013, for Four More Years
Stamp Raised More Than $2.5 Million for Conservation Since 2011 at No Taxpayer Expense
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2014) –
After expiring at the end of 2013, a Senate bill to reauthorize a wildlife postage stamp passed the House today, clearing the way for it to be signed into law.
The bill ensures that the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF) Semipostal Stamp, also known as the Save Vanishing Species stamp, may be sold by the U.S. Postal Service for four more years. The stamp’s proceeds benefit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s MSCF program, which provide targeted investment in global species conservation for tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes and sea turtles. The stamp features the image of an endangered Amur tiger cub from Eastern Asia.
Since the stamp first went on sale in September of 2011 until its authorization lapsed at the end of 2013, it sold more than 25.5 million copies in an era when first class mail has declined significantly. This raised more than $2.5 million for species conservation. And, as intended, the stamp has resulted in no net cost to the U.S. Postal Service or the American taxpayer.
The legislation was sponsored by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Jose Serrano (D-NY) and Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) in the House and Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate.
“We applaud Congress for their action in saving a truly worthy program,” said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “Wildlife conservation is not a partisan issue, as demonstrated by the bipartisan support for these efforts. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office has scored similar legislation as revenue-neutral, as the stamp raises funds at no net cost to the Federal government or taxpayers.”
Calvelli added, “The stamp empowers the American public to show their support for wildlife conservation by simply mailing a letter, as proceeds from every stamp purchased goes directly to conservation efforts on the ground. I thank the Senate and the House for moving forward on this reauthorization, and I look forward to seeing the final version of the legislation enacted into law.”
About the MSCF Semipostal Stamp
Under the law, the price of semipostal stamps marginally exceeds the cost of first class postage. The U.S. Postal Service retains the full first class value of the stamp, with the additional funding raised being transferred to the MSCF, where it has played a critical role in saving wild populations of the world’s most iconic species by controlling poaching, reducing human-wildlife conflict, and protecting essential habitat.
Since 1989, the Multinational Species Conservation Fund has awarded over 2,300 grants in 54 countries through all its grant programs for international wildlife conservation, targeting key species and regions in coordination with non- governmental organizations, government and community leaders, and private businesses to ensure the protection of some of the world’s most endangered and charismatic animals. The program has consistently proven to be highly efficient, as low administrative costs ensure that 97% of appropriated funds are distributed through grants. Additionally, MSCF investments consistently leverage 2-3 times as much from partner governments, local NGOs, international conservation organizations and private businesses. MSCF enjoys the support of a broad coalition including conservation organizations, zoos, aquariums, circuses, sportsmen, veterinarians and animal rights groups.
Find more information about the Save Vanishing Species stamp at:
Chip Weiskotten, 202-624-8172; firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Sautner, 718-220-3682; email@example.com
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org
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