01/30/09 — Outdoorsmen can donate on taxes

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Outdoorsmen can donate on taxes

By Courtesy NCWRC
Published in Sports on January 30, 2009 1:46 PM

Courtesy NCWRC

RALEIGH -- Outdoorsmen of all kinds will have a hassle-free way to help the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission conserve the state's wildlife and their habitats.

A new box on state income tax forms will allow participants to donate a portion of their North Carolina income tax refund to help preservation efforts.

By donating a portion of their refund sportsmen can help conserve nongame wildlife and their habitats. Non-game wildlife includes all the birds, mammals, fish, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians and crayfish that do not have a designated hunting or fishing season.

Although tax check-off donations target projects benefiting non-game animals and their habitats, game species such as deer, turkey and bear also benefit because they share many of the same resources.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission uses tax check-off donations to the Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Fund to support non-game wildlife research, conservation and management. That includes monitoring the population of red-cockaded woodpeckers and peregrine falcons, managing habitat to benefit bog turtles, surveying for gopher frogs, and developing captive breeding techniques for mussels for research and future restoration efforts.

Tax check-off donations are the largest and most significant non-federal source of funding for the Commission's Wildlife Diversity Program.

"In the past, donations were matched with federal dollars on a 3:1 basis, which means for every donated dollar we received, we were able to match it with three federal dollars and devote four dollars to wildlife conservation," said Chris McGrath, Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator. "However, last year, the matching federal dollars were reduced to a 1:1 match, which means that for every donated dollar the Commission receives, we now get only one dollar of matching federal money resulting in two dollars for conservation.

"We've got to work twice as hard to make the same financial commitment to sustaining and providing for North Carolinians enjoyment of our wildlife."

Several statewide programs benefit from the tax check-off donations.