Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation to extend the special postage stamp program to benefit conservation programs. The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act was passed in the 111th Congress by unanimous consent and authorized the conservation stamp program for two years. This Reauthorization Act would extend the program for an additional four years.
"As Theodore Roosevelt's legacy reminds us, it is important that we preserve our nation's wildlife and natural resources for future generations to enjoy," said Portman. "Reauthorizing this stamp program to help fund conservation at no cost to the taxpayer is one small step toward this goal, and I am hopeful my Senate colleagues will agree to continue this successful program for four more years."
"The Multinational Species stamp allows individuals to easily and voluntarily contribute to conservation efforts with the simple act of mailing a letter," said Udall. "With this stamp, almost $2 million has already been raised for important wildlife programs, which shows that it's an effective effort that should be extended."
"We have seen the way that the stamp has galvanized support for conservation among the American people over the past year," said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. "I thank Senators Portman and Udall for their leadership in introducing this bill, and I urge Congress to prevent the extinction of this fiscally responsible funding source for the world's most iconic species by reauthorizing the stamp for another four years."
On September 20, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, depicting an endangered Amur tiger cub, priced at 55 cents each. The difference in price from this first-class stamp is transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to benefit the Multinational Species Conservation Funds which cover tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes and sea turtles. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, as of December 30, 2012, 18.1 million stamps have been sold, raising $1,894,191.83 for the five Multinational Species Conservation Funds.
The bill will not come at a cost to taxpayers.
Portman and Udall, along with two other cosponsors, introduced the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2012 (S.3208) in the 112th Congress.