WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) announced the final FY 2021 bipartisan funding bill includes their bipartisan Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act, legislation which would require the U.S. Postal Service to continue selling the approximately 45 million remaining Saving Vanishing Species Stamps. When the program began in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service printed 100 million stamps to help promote wildlife conservation and this legislation will require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 45 million remaining stamps left in stock.
“We owe it to our future generations to preserve our planet’s rich wildlife and natural resources so that they can continue to be enjoyed,” said Portman. “This successful stamp program has raised millions of dollars to fund conservation without any taxpayer money. I’m glad this bipartisan legislation was included in the final FY 2021 bipartisan funding bill and strongly urge the president to sign this legislation into law to ensure that every last stamp is sold.”
“By giving anyone the chance to easily and voluntarily contribute to a good cause with the simple act of mailing a letter, this stamp program has been a successful way to bolster conservation initiatives that protect iconic wildlife and critical habitat at no cost to taxpayers,” Udall said. “I’m glad to see this provision included in the funding bill, because we must ensure we are taking advantage of every opportunity to preserve the world’s treasured natural landscapes and species for generations to come.”
NOTE: On September 20, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, depicting an endangered Amur tiger cub, priced above the normal price of a first-class stamp. The difference in price from this first-class stamp is transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the five Multinational Species Conservation Funds to protect tigers, rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and great apes. These programs target poaching, illegal wildlife trade, habitat protection, and projects to incorporate species conservation into community development.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, since the first of these stamps went on sale in 2011, nearly 55 million have been sold, raising more than $6 million. This has helped fund 99 projects in more than 35 countries.
Portman and Udall authored legislation that was signed into law to extend the sale of the stamp through September 2018. This legislation would require the U.S. Postal Service to sell the approximately 45 million remaining stamps left in stock.