Do you enjoy Georgia’s wildlife and rare plants?
This tax season, help them survive and even thrive by contributing to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund checkoff when filing your state income taxes. Every donation counts and giving is easy.
Simply fill in any amount more than $1 on line 26 of the long tax form (Form 500) or line 10 of form 500EZ. (Already filed? You also can make a direct contribution to the Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section. Details at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support.)
What’s often called the Give Wildlife a Chance checkoff helps native species as varied as North Atlantic right whales and Georgia aster wildflowers. Here’s how.
Conservation of Georgia’s nongame wildlife – native animals not legally hunted or fished for – as well as rare native plants and their habitats is supported largely by the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. The lifeblood of this conservation fund, created by state law to support nongame work, is fundraising.
The checkoff usually accounts for about a 10th of the revenue raised each year. It has been instrumental in conservation successes across the state, including the recovery of bald eagles and last year’s record nesting season for loggerhead sea turtles, another protected species on the rebound.
But checkoff contributions to the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund are declining. They hit a new low of only $131,200 in fiscal year 2016. Reversing this decline is critical to Georgia’s nongame and habitats.
One reason why is that contributions boost the potential for the Nongame Conservation Section to obtain and match grants. DNR receives up to $3 in grants for every $1 spent from the fund.
This leveraging ability makes every contribution valuable, said Nongame Conservation Chief Jon Ambrose. “Donations to the tax checkoff are critical for getting additional funding from other sources,” he said. “Even by giving just a little, Georgians can provide critical support and make a big impact.”
There are more than 640 plant and animal species of conservation concern in Georgia. The Nongame Conservation Section, which is charged with conserving nongame wildlife statewide, depends primarily on public support. Much of that support comes through the sale and renewal of DNR’s eagle and hummingbird license plates, and through the wildlife income tax checkoff.
This tax season, help Georgia’s nongame wildlife soar, crawl, swim and grow! Check the checkoff.
You can also help by taking the checkoff survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WildlifeCheckoff.