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Don't Forget the Nongame Checkoff on Your Taxes

Osprey  Tom Rogers

With about one month to go before the deadline to file taxes, many taxpayers are sitting down to tackle the chore.

As you get toward the end of the process, if you find you're due to receive a refund from the state of Vermont, please consider throwing a few bones at the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

You can do so on line 29 of your state income tax form. Put as big a number as you're comfortable with, but think, if everybody put a couple of dollars of their refund into this worthwhile fund, the state would get a few hundred thousand dollars to help management nongame species in Vermont.

According to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, the fund benefits species like the bald eagle, lynx and bats in Vermont. Who wouldn't love to see the eagle, lynx and bats recover fully?

The department said, in a news release, that each donation is leveraged by a match from a federal grant of about three-to-one, so a $50 donation turns into $150 in conservation dollars for the state.

“The Nongame Wildlife Fund has been responsible for some of the great conservation success stories in Vermont,” said biologist Steve Parren who manages nongame wildlife projects for the Fish & Wildlife Department. “Thanks to the generous donations of thousands of Vermonters, we are working to restore many of the iconic species of our Green Mountain State.”

Does it really work?

Just check out peregrine falcons, osprey and loons in Vermont, which are now much more common sights than they used to be.

“It’s clear that Vermonters care deeply about wildlife,” said John Buck, a wildlife biologist who works to recover the state’s endangered bird species. “These donations demonstrate that the people of our state share a strong commitment to conservation.”