The Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp was introduced in 2010 as a vehicle by which anyone interested in conservation of Ohio's natural resources and its wildlife could help. The OWLS stamp is the product of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and features an animal selected by the Division. The stamp's price tag is $15.00, and $14.00 of that goes directly to the Division's Wildlife Diversity Fund. These monies are used to fund endangered species research, habitat restoration, and production of educational materials. Perhaps you've seen the wildlife division's free booklets on Ohio's birds, butterflies, spiders, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, etc - this is the pot of money that funds that work.
The OWLS stamp features the work of Ohio photographers, who are encouraged to submit entries of the selected subject. The first year, Baltimore Oriole was chosen, and the winner was Russ Reynolds of Lima, Ohio. Dragonflies were chosen for OWLS II, and it was Sharon Cummings of Graytown, Ohio who won with a beautiful photo of a male Eastern amberwing. The latter is the current stamp, and it is available HERE.
Salamanders were the chosen subject for the 2012 OWLS stamp, and the winner was selected yesterday at the Division of Wildlife's annual Wildlife Diversity Partner's Meeting. Twenty-seven photographers submitted a total of 58 entries, and the meeting's attendees - who collectively represent an extraordinary pool of knowledge regarding Ohio's natural history - serve as judges.
And the winner is...
Nina Harfmann of Pleasant Plains, Ohio. Although many outstanding photos of a diverse range of Ohio's salamander species was submitted, it was this image that was the clear standout. It'll be available in stamp form on March 1, 2012.
Nina writes a natural history blog entitled Nature Remains, and you can see many other examples of her work there. She is also a talented writer, and you'll enjoy reading her essays and tales of exploration.