Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen, Public Information Officer
RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 1, 2011) — Whether you love to hunt, fish, bird watch, or just want to do your part to ensure that wildlife in North Carolina flourishes, you can help conserve North Carolina’s wildlife and their habitats by checking line No. 30 on your North Carolina State Income tax form this year.
By donating a portion of your tax refund, you provide money for projects that help the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission conserve nongame wildlife and their habitats. Turtles, freshwater mussels, fish, birds, bats, frogs and salamanders all benefit from tax check-off donations to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission uses Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund donations to support the research, conservation and management of animals that are not hunted and fished. Because nongame projects are not funded through state tax money, check-off donations provide the largest and most significant source of funding for these projects. Additionally, every dollar in tax donations given to the fund, is matched with federal and other grants, so donated dollars actually count twice.
“Only through the generosity of North Carolinians contributing to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund can the Commission continue to provide staff biologists and technicians needed to work with our many partners on projects that promote endangered species conservation and ensure that more common wildlife remains common,” said Chris McGrath, Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator in the Commission’s Wildlife Management Division.
Wildlife conservation in North Carolina involves much more than studying populations of animals and regulating their use. It is also about understanding the vast range of species and their interactions to help North Carolina make wise choices for a sustainable future.
“Wildlife conservation is about making sure that our children’s children can hunt, fish, birdwatch, photograph or enjoy the bountiful wildlife that our parents did, and it is about ensuring that we have clean water and wild places to enjoy in our great state,” McGrath said. “Contributions to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund allow the Wildlife Diversity Program staff to continue this important work.”
A few of the projects supported by tax check-off donations in 2010 included:
- Managing wetlands for the benefit of pond breeding amphibians like the gopher frog;
- Developing a conservation tool called the Green Growth Toolbox to help county and local governments statewide plan for future development while sustaining priority wildlife habitat;
- Supporting local wildlife recreation economies through the North Carolina Birding Trail;
- Restoring fish and mussel species to the Pigeon and Cheoah rivers;
- Surveying for rare fish in the Pee Dee River; and,
- Protecting rare mussels in the Tar River.
Online tax preparation software, such as TurboTax, does not have numbered lines so e-filers will be asked if they would like to make a donation to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. Other tax filers can also tell their tax preparer they would like to donate.
Tax season isn’t the only time or way to contribute to wildlife conservation. Other ways to help North Carolina’s wildlife and their habitats year-round are:
More information about the Wildlife Diversity Program, including projects and annual reports, is available on the Commission’s website, www.ncwildlife.org/give.