2017 California Junior Duck Stamp Winners Announced

Artwork from 2,276 school-aged waterfowl artists throughout the state was judged during the 27th Annual California Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge on March 30. Among those entires were about 100 from Colusa County, submitted by students from Maxwell Elementary and Princeton Elementary.

In California, the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is facilitated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC). A panel of 10 judges was tasked with selecting 100 winners. The artwork was judged in four grade groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. From these groups, three first, three second, three third place and 16 honorable mention winners were chosen. Winning designs received ribbons and all entrants received a certificate of appreciation and awards.

One art design earned the distinguished title of California’s Best of Show, which was a King Eider by Sue Yeon Park, age 17 from Rancho Palos Verdes. Her artwork will be submitted to Washington D.C. to compete with the other states’ Best of Show winners during the National Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest on April 21, 2017. The national winner’s design will be made into the 2017-2018 Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

The 2017 judges included: Mark Ackerman, Wildlife Biologist for Cosumnes River Preserve; Caroline Brady, Waterfowl Programs Coordinator for California Waterfowl Association; John Carlson, CEO/President of California Waterfowl Association; Cris Cline, Secretary of the Altacal Audubon Society; Jenny Marr, retired Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist for California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Sean Pirtle, Game Warden for California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Mike Rakestraw, Engineering Equipment Operator at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; David Tamori, College Board AP Studio Art Consultant; and Polly Wheeler, Assistant Regional Director of Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This California Junior Duck Stamp Program is so successful because of the generous and supportive partners that provide the funding and manpower. Volunteers from the Sacramento NWRC, California Waterfowl, and other partner organizations worked on the daunting task of laying out all the artwork, tallying scores, and recording the 100 winners. Additional major sponsors for the program include the California Rice Commission, California Department of Water Resources, Pacific Flyway Decoy Association, Altacal Audubon Society, Central Valley Joint Venture, and other federal, state, private, and non-profit environmental conservation and education agencies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/sacramento/ or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Submitted by Lora Haller, for the Pioneer Review