Contact(s): Drew Feldkirchner, DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Program director, 608-235-3905
April 2, 2019
MADISON - Wisconsinites filing their taxes in the next two weeks can help prevent hundreds of rare birds, butterflies, turtles and other wildlife from disappearing from Wisconsin by donating to the Endangered Resources Fund on their state tax form.
Donors' gifts of any size are doubled by the state and go directly to conservation of rare and at risk species, those listed as endangered or threatened or with low or declining populations. Fill in a gift of any amount next to line 35a on Form 1, on the donations area on your tax preparation software, or let your tax preparer know you want to make a donation to the Endangered Resources Fund.
"Donors' contributions to the Endangered Resources Fund have helped keep hundreds of rare species from disappearing from Wisconsin," says Drew Feldkirchner, who leads the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation Program.
"No plant or animal species are known to have been lost from Wisconsin since our endangered species program started 40 years ago, thanks to donors' contributions and work by DNR, partners and individuals."
"That's a very important and unheralded part of the story, and it's why we are asking people to please consider donating again."
Taxpayers who have already filed for the 2018 tax year are still able to donate directly online or by mail and their gift will be matched by the state. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search "NHC" and click the link for "tax checkoff."
All donations to the Endangered Resources Fund, whether via tax form, online or by mail, are matched by the state, doubling the impact for Wisconsin's native wildlife, plants and State Natural Areas.
Donations pay for work by DNR Natural Heritage Conservation staff who are responsible for hundreds of rare species. Donations to the Endangered Resources Fund pay for efforts to locate rare species, to protect and restore their habitat, assist landowners in helping them and avoid harm to them during various activities.
Wisconsin continues to provide important habitat for several species that are absent or declining in other parts of the country like Karner blue butterfly, wood turtle, and rusty-patched bumblebee. The state's small but growing population of Kirtland's warbler is important since Wisconsin is one of only two states where this bird occurs.
Wisconsin is home to the oldest and largest set of State Natural Areas in the nation; these protect unique natural features and are home to many rare species. The program has restored many thousands of acres of prairies, savannas, and oak forests, as well as fens, meadows and numerous other habitats that support diverse wildlife such as hundreds of rare species along with numerous waterfowl and abundant game species
"These are just a few examples of how donors can help protect and restore the rare species and special places they love," Feldkirchner says. "We're grateful for past contributions and look forward to doing more great work together so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy Wisconsin's natural heritage as we have."