This photo of a garter snake, submitted by Ryan Wagner of North Olmsted in Cuyahoga County, stood out as a winner for the ninth annual Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp Photo Contest, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Wagner is a sophomore at Ohio University. The first-place photo appears on the 2018 Legacy Stamp, which is now on sale.

The first runner-up photo of a blue racer was taken and submitted by Patrick Anderson. The second runner-up photo of a northern ring-necked also belonged to winner Ryan Wagner.

The contest was open to Ohio residents, and a total of 60 native Ohio snake photos were submitted for the contest.

The idea for the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp began as a grassroots effort to inform the public about the need to fund wildlife conservation. Offering the stamp to the public has continued with the positive support of individuals and conservation groups throughout the state.

Fourteen dollars of every $15 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp sold are invested in the state’s Wildlife Diversity Fund. This fund supports habitat restoration, wildlife and habitat research projects, creation of wildlife educational materials, as well as efforts that restore and conserve endangered and threatened species. No state tax dollars are contributed to this fund.

The contest was judged at the Fountain Inn in Lakeside during the ninth annual Wildlife Diversity Partners Conference in September. The photos were judged on originality, technical excellence, composition and overall impact.

The subject for next year’s event, the 10th Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp Photo Contest, is a native Ohio owl. Here in Ohio, owls can be found in a variety of habitats and can be great subjects for photographers, making owls a deserving choice to be showcased on the 2019 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp. People can learn more about Ohio native owl species by visiting Entries will be accepted Aug. 1-18, and the winner will receive $500. The selection of the winning photo will be made in September 2018. The contest is open to all Ohioans age 18 years and older. Visit for complete contest rules. Entries must be submitted in a horizontal format only. The winning photographer is not eligible to enter photos in Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp Contests for three years after winning the contest.

Participants of the first Wildlife Diversity Partners Conference in 2008 collaborated with the ODNR Division of Wildlife to create the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp. The goal was to provide all Ohioans with an easy and visible way to support wildlife conservation efforts in their state. The inaugural stamp was introduced in March 2010. Visit for more details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and other wildlife-related topics.

Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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