Easton wins Ohio stamp design competition


Ray Easton’s painting of a bufflehead duck was selected as the winner of the 2024 Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp Design Competition held on Saturday, Feb. 17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Easton’s painting will be displayed on the Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp that will be issued in 2025.

A panel of five judges selected Easton’s artwork from a field of 34 original pieces of art. Easton, from Webster, New York, is a first-time winner of the competition. Second place was awarded to Frank Dolphens Jr. of Omaha, Nebraska, for a painting of three blue-winged teal. John Brennan of Lutz, Florida, won third place with a snow goose painting.

The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp program has raised more than $11 million for wetland conservation since 1982. Proceeds from stamp sales help fund vital wetland habitat restoration projects. Those projects have restored or enhanced thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat. These habitats are important to many wildlife species, including ducks, swans, sandhill cranes, shorebirds, and amphibians.

The competition has been held in conjunction with the Ohio Ducks Unlimited annual convention since 1996. The judges for this year’s event included:

• Lisa Brohl, Put-in-Bay Township Park District

• Rick Johansen, decoy carver

• Cathann Kress, dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

• Reece Nickol, Ducks Unlimited Ohio policy chair

• Dick Rhode, decoy carver

The Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp is $15 and is a required purchase for anyone 18 years or older looking to hunt waterfowl in the Buckeye State. The stamp is also purchased by many birders who want to contribute to wetland habitat. For more information, visit wildohio.gov.

The first Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp was designed in 1982 by well-known Ohio artist John A. Ruthven and featured two wood ducks. Since then, notable winning artists have included Harold Roe and Adam Grimm. In 2023, Sam Timm of Wisconsin won the contest for a second time with his painting of two American wigeons. That stamp is on sale now through the Ohio Wildlife Licensing System at wildohio.gov.

Submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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