The 18th annual Louisiana Conservation Stamp and Print Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the winning design on Oct. 26 that will be featured on the 2006 Duck Stamp.
Edward Suthoffs painting of an alert yellow Labrador retriever emerging from an open field while a pair of mallards fly in the background was the chosen winner from a field of eight other paintings. Wayne Atkinson from Irving, Texas placed second and Tony Bernard from Lafayette was third.
Suthoff is from Mississippi, but has been displaced to northeast Arkansas because of Hurricane Katrina. He was the winner of the 1993 Mississippi duck stamp contest at the age of 23. He was also chosen the 2004 and 2005 Artist of the Year at the Louisiana Wildlife Festival and designed the poster for the 2004 world championship duck-calling contest.
LDWF initiated the Retrievers Save Game series last year when it featured a black Labrador, because all of the waterfowl species were used in the first 16 years of the competition. The contest rules stipulate that the retriever must be prominent in the design, but must also include live waterfowl selected by the artist.
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisianas ducks and geese. This program has generated over $8.5 million for wetland conservation since 1989.
These dollars have helped acquire several tracts of land in need of duck and geese habitat improvement, Robert Helm, LDWF waterfowl program manager said. Money is also budgeted each year from this fund to help repair levees and perform other wetland management practices on our states Wildlife Management Areas. This money is extremely important to this department and to waterfowl and wetland habitats.
The Louisiana Waterfowl Program, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited and the Federal Natural Resources Conservation Services has also benefited private lands.
Helm said that prints of the Suthoff painting would be available from the artist in the summer. The 18th anniversary 2006-07 stamp, featuring Suthoffs work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2006. For information on prints call toll free 1-866-225-9907 or visit www.edwardsuthoffart.com . The artist then retains the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.
Judges for the competition included Dr. Headley Adelmann, artist and retired biology professor from Hammond, Jerry Bower, frame shop and art studio owner in Lafayette, Clint Jeske, waterfowl and wetlands biologist with the United States Geological Survey wetlands research center from Lafayette, Bob Kennon, retired Baton Rouge attorney and lifelong Labrador trainer and judge, and Mike Benge, current state chairman of Ducks Unlimited.
EDITORS: For more information, contact Robert Helm at 225-765-2358 or firstname.lastname@example.org .