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Tax Check Off Has Helped Preserve Eagles, Other Species

Wisconsin DNR

A program which has seen endangered species come back from the brink of extinction is funded in part by check offs on state income tax returns.

A leader of the program hopes the public thinks about that when they fill out their tax returns.

The Endangered Resources Fund on Wisconsin income tax forms are a primary way to help species like eagles and swans says Drew Feldkirchner of the DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation staff... .

"On your income tax form, whether you're using paper or software, there's a place where you can donate. There's going to be several charities and groups listed there, and one of them is the Endangered Resources Fund. Any amount donated is really helpful. It gets matched one to one so it essentially doubling your donation..."

Competitive grants and private contributions, including through tax return donations, are responsible for about 20 percent of the annual funding for Wisconsin's endangered species conservation. Contributions help pay for protecting, restoring and maintaining habitats needed by rare plants and animals, locating rare species, providing special management to the rarest species, assisting land owners who wish to restore habitat and showing developers how to avoid harming rare species.

Wisconsin taxpayers who already have filed can still donate online or by mail. To donate or learn about other ways to help endangered species, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "ER"