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Press Release

Las Vegas Teen Wins State Duck Stamp competition

Published on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 (5:01 p.m.)

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the winners of the 2014 Nevada Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. Diego LaRochelle, age 14, created a watercolor work of a drake Ring-necked Duck that was selected as state Best of Show. Diego’s artwork will compete at the 2014 National Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest to be held on April 18 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Diego worked on his design entirely at home, and has been drawing and painting since he was young, with family hiking trips and vacations serving as creative inspiration. Diego attends the Las Vegas Academy
of the Arts, majoring in music. He enjoys jazz piano, plays soccer, and
has a career interest in architecture. Diego’s younger brother and sister are also Duck Stamp contest winners in their age groups this year, placing 2nd and 1st respectively. Diego is the son of Lourdes and Jim LaRochelle of Las Vegas.

Of the 514 Nevada student artists submitting entries this year, 100 entries placing first, second, third and honorable mention will receive ribbons and other prizes in recognition of their efforts. Every student entering the contest receives a certificate and a participation prize. The NV Best of Show and Conservation Message winners also receive a cash award sponsored by the Nevada Waterfowl Association.

Judging took place on March 26 in Fallon, Nevada. The volunteer judges were: Nevada Department of Wildlife Director -Tony Wasley; Nevada Waterfowl Association President -Willie Molini; Friends of Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge/Wetlands & Wings Chairman- Steve Sawyer; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Reno office Wildlife Biologist- Marcy Haworth; Churchill County Museum & Archives Director Donna Cossette. Entries were judged based on originality, photo-realism, and accuracy in shape, proportion, feather and habitat coloring. Four age groups were judged separately to determine three 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, and 16 Honorable Mention winners. The twelve 1st place winners were then judged together to determine the Best of Show to represent Nevada in the national contest. Nevada entries were received from 8 public schools, 3 private schools, 2 home schools, and 1 art studio.

The design selected as the National winner will be made into the following year’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of this $5 stamp are used to support conservation education awards and scholarships for entrants. The first place National winner receives a $1000 cash award, as well as a free trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the judging of the adult Federal Duck Stamp Contest, along with his/her art teacher and one of his/her parents.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is open to all students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, who submit original artwork by the annual deadline of March 15. Artwork must depict North American ducks, geese, or swans in their natural habitat. Patterned after the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Duck Stamp Program for adults, the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Program is designed to increase awareness among our nation’s youth of the need to conserve North America’s wetlands and waterfowl through an educational curriculum, which incorporates art and wildlife management principles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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For a jpg file of the winning art, artist photo, bio and contact, please call 775/423-5128 ext 228, or send an e-mail to: [email protected]

For more information about the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, visit:

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