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Energy & Environment

A Tax Deduction To Help Wisconsin's Endangered Species

Karner_blue_butterfly_on_hawkweed.jpg
Wikimedia Commons Joel Trick-USFWS
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As tax season is in full swing, a state spokesperson says Wisconsinites can double the difference they make for rare and native species and natural areas through a donation on their 2017 Wisconsin income tax form.

Drew Feldkirchner directs the DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program...

"...this time of year we remind people that there's the Endangered Resources Fund check off on your tax form.. It's a chance to donate to the Endangered Resources Fund which helps to fund a variety of efforts to restore native and rare species and their habitats...."

Feldkirchner says the tax checkoff is still a main source of funding for the program...

"..so it's used for things like managing habitat. We've restored wood turtle nesting sites, a rare turtle in Wisconsin. We use it for managing rare species in Wisconsin. Rare habitats require a lot of active management like burning, mowing, cutting brush things like that. We use it for monitoring rare species, locating their populations. They can be protected during different types of projects...."

Feldkirchner says donations to the Endangered Resources Fund over the last generation have helped restore bald eagles, osprey and trumpeter swans.

The funds also helped protect the threatened wood turtle nests from predators and restored 900 acres of habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly. It also helped monitor bats affected by white-nose syndrome which has devastated the bat population in the Midwest and elsewhere.

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