WCS Applauds Senate Passage of Bill Renewing Wildlife Stamp

Wildlife Stamp Renewed Photo

The stamp, which expired at the end of 2013, has raised more than $2.5 million for conservation since 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 1, 2014) --
The following statement was issued by John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Executive Vice President of Public Affairs following the Senate’s passage of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF) Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act:

“By passing this bill, U.S. Senators took action to engage the American people in the fight to save endangered wildlife by passing S.231, which would reauthorize the Save Vanishing Species postage stamp for an additional four years. Following the inclusion of similar reauthorizing language in an appropriations bill passed by the U.S. House last month, we are pleased to see that both houses of Congress and both parties are taking steps to keep this beneficial program going forward.

“We thank Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), lead sponsors of the bill in the Senate, as well as the stamp’s champions in the House, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (D-FL) for the support of this program. 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.

“The stamp allows the American public to show their support for wildlife conservation, as proceeds from every stamp purchased goes directly to conservation efforts on the ground. The Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which are supported by sales of the stamp, help protect our most iconic species, including elephants, tigers, great apes and marine turtles.

“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.”

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said, “I'm pleased this important legislation passed the Senate today. At no cost to taxpayers, the reauthorization of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act will benefit conservation programs and endangered species for years to come. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues for final passage.”

The MSCF Semipostal Stamp, also known as the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, benefits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Multinational Species Conservation Funds, 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.

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: www.tigerstamp.com

CONTACT:

Chip Weiskotten, 202-624-8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org
Stephen Sautner, 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org


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; facebook.com/TheWCS; youtube.com/user/WCSMedia; follow: @theWCS.

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