A museum with collections of more than 40,000 bird eggs gathered from throughout the Southwest is certain to attract ornithologists. The San Bernardino County Museum at Redlands has an added attraction today and Sunday that will draw bird lovers from throughout Southern California as the museum hosts its fourth annual Wildlife West Festival.
The festival will include demonstrations of woodcarving, taxidermy, fly tying and rod wrapping. A number of talented wildlife artists will be displaying and selling their work. While the festival emphasis is on birds, other animals found in the wilderness also serve as subjects for blade and brush. Among the organizations with participating booths are the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society.
The highlight of the festival promises to be an exhibit of 100 of the best entries in the Federal and State Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp contest, including the winning design by Arthur G. Anderson of Onalaska, Wis. His painting of three redhead ducks flying over a backwater marsh was selected by a panel of wildlife artists and conservation officials from more than 800 entries nationwide.
$285 Million in Proceeds
The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act was passed in 1934 by a Congress alarmed at the steady decline of America's once-huge flocks of ducks and geese as millions of acres of prime waterfowl habitat were drained for agriculture. Each year, until 1949, a leading artist was commissioned to prepare a duck stamp design. In 1949, the duck stamp contest began and became the federal government's only continuing art competition. By 1984, more than $285 million from the sale of duck stamps to hunters had been used to preserve some 3.5 million acres of wetland habitat. In recent years, the stamps have become recognized as collector's items and are snapped up by non-hunting conservationists.