Portman Endangered Species Stamp Bill Headed to the President for Signature
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that his endangered species semipostal stamp bill, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2013, has passed both chambers of Congress and is now headed to the President for signature.
“I'm pleased that this important legislation has moved forward so we can get the unsold Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamps back on the shelves,” Portman stated. “At no cost to taxpayers, the reauthorization of the sale of these stamps will benefit conservation programs and endangered species for years to come.”
The bill reauthorizes a special postage stamp to benefit conservation programs for six years. As a result of past legislation, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Saving Vanishing Species Stamp, depicting an endangered Amur tiger cub, priced at 55 cents. The difference from this first-class stamp is transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to benefit the Multinational Species Conservation Funds which covers tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes and sea turtles. The U.S. Postal Service reports that over 7.3 million stamps were sold in the first quarter since the stamp's issuance. In the first three months, stamp sales generated over $800,000, and in total, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act has raised over $2.5 million for conservation at no cost to taxpayers since 2011.
Portman’s legislation reauthorizes the sale of the remaining 74 million unsold endangered species stamps, which were taken off the shelves in December 2013. Following a notice that the stamps would be incinerated, Portman called and wrote a letter to Postmaster General Donahoe requesting that the United States Postal Service not to destroy the 74 million unsold stamps.