Do you love Georgia wildlife? Are you looking for a hassle-free way to support the conservation of our state’s rare plants and animals, from Georgia aster to bald eagles?
If so, consider making a donation to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund tax checkoff when filing your income tax return this year.
Giving is easy, and every amount helps.
Here’s why your contribution to what’s also called the Give Wildlife a Chance tax checkoff is so important:
The conservation of Georgia’s nongame wildlife ¬¬¬– native animals not legally hunted or fished for – as well as rare and endangered species and their habitats is supported largely by the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. This essential source of revenue is, in turn, sustained by public support.
Contributions to the Give Wildlife a Chance checkoff account for about 10 percent of the support for the fund and have been instrumental in accomplishing a number of conservation goals statewide.
Successes include the rebound of bald eagles, which are nesting in the state at record high levels, and the continued protection of Georgia aster, work that has kept the rare wildflower off the Endangered Species list, despite being a candidate for 15 years.
However, there has been an overall decline in contributions to the checkoff in recent years. The continued success of nongame conservation efforts depends on reversing this decline.
The impact of contributions is magnified through efficient management. By leveraging Wildlife Conservation Fund revenues to obtain and match grants, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section receives about $2 to $3 for every $1 spent from the fund.
Nongame Conservation Section Chief Jon Ambrose said this ability to match funds is what makes every contribution so valuable, no matter the amount.
“Donations to the tax checkoff are critical for getting additional funding from other sources,” Ambrose said. “Even by giving just a little, Georgians can provide critical support and make a big impact.”
There are more than 1,000 plant and animal species of conservation concern in Georgia. The Nongame Conservation Section, which is charged with conserving nongame wildlife statewide, receives no state appropriations for this work and depends on public support – largely through the tax checkoff and the sale and renewal of DNR’s eagle and hummingbird license plates.
By donating through the wildlife checkoff this tax season, you will be supporting work that protects the wild creatures and wild places that Georgians enjoy, now and future generations.
Simply fill in any amount more than $1 on line 26 of the long tax form (Form 500) or line 10 of the short form (Form 500EZ), and kick in for conservation!
- Online: www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support
- By phone: Call Nongame Conservation Section offices in Social Circle (770-761-3035), Forsyth (478-994-1438) or Brunswick (912-264-7218).
- State tax forms and e-filing details: http://dor.georgia.gov/taxes
- Nongame Conservation Section report: www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/AnnualReport