MADISON – Wisconsinites can double the difference they make for rare and native species and natural areas through a donation to the Endangered Resources Fund on their 2017 Wisconsin income tax form.
Donations made through what’s known as the “tax check off” are tax-deductible and are matched dollar for dollar by the state.
“Your contribution of any size makes a difference and helps us conserve some of the best of what makes Wisconsin special,” says Drew Feldkirchner, who directs the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation program. “Donors allow us to do more work to protect and restore the roughly 400 wildlife species and over 300 plant species that are threatened, endangered or declining.”
Endangered resources donation
Tax checkoff contributions to the Endangered Resources Fund, along with other donations, fund 25 percent of Natural Heritage Conservation biologists’ work to conserve Wisconsin’s natural heritage for future generations. Competitive grants are other big funding sources for their work aimed at benefitting such “non-game” species for which there are no hunting or fishing seasons. Much of NHC biologists’ habitat work also benefits some of Wisconsin’s most popular game species.
“Simply put, we could not do the work we do without our partners, volunteers and donors,” Feldkirchner says. “We are grateful for your gift and your investment in the future of the nature you love.”
Feldkirchner invites Wisconsin residents and visitors to sign up
for email updates or text alerts or review Natural Heritage Conservation year-end reports to see how donors’ investments translate into progress for Wisconsin’s rare and native species and the nation’s oldest system of nature preserves.
Donations to the Endangered Resources Fund over the last generation have helped restore bald eagles, osprey and trumpeter swans to the sky, for instance. Last year, such donations helped protect threatened wood turtle nests from predators; restored 900 acres of habitat for endangered Karner blue butterflies and located and protected dwarf lake iris and other rare plants. The fund also helped NHC biologists monitor bats for white-nose syndrome, track rare species like the federally endangered snuffbox mussel and the rusty-patched bumblebee, and conduct critical management activities like prescribed burns and invasive species control on many of Wisconsin’s best remaining natural areas.
Look for the “donations” section and fill in an amount of any size: Form 1 – line 35; Form 1A – line 26; Form WI-Z – line 13; Form 1NPR – line 61.