CHICKADEE CHECKOFF NOT JUST FOR THE BIRDS
State income tax return box helps conserve all wildlife
PRATT — While tax time is still a couple of months away, most taxpayers are starting to prepare, mentally and financially. While no one looks forward to tax time, concern for wildlife is year-round, and in Kansas, the two are connected. Checking the Chickadee Checkoff box on Kansas State Income Tax forms is the easy way for Kansans to contribute. Checking this box gives a portion of returns or any additional contribution to all wildlife, not just birds.
Since 1981, the Chickadee Checkoff Program has been at the forefront of endangered species protection, habitat protection, and wildlife appreciation projects in Kansas. The program has sponsored many popular projects, such as the Nursing Home Bird Feeder Program and Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites (OWLS) at Kansas schools. OWLS has allowed the development of outdoor laboratories at more than 200 schools across the state. Other programs sponsored by the Chickadee Checkoff include the Kansas Backyard Wildlife Habitat Improvement and Certification Program, the Bluebird Nest Box Project, the Songbird Bundle habitat planting, and surveying and protection of sensitive species. Protecting endangered species is a core program for the Chickadee Checkoff. Additionally, the Checkoff has served to document bald eagle nesting success and winter roosts in Kansas.
More than $4 million has been contributed to Chickadee Checkoff since 1981. Chickadee Checkoff funds can be used to match federal funds. With the help of the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (KSCPA), the Chickadee Checkoff has enjoyed stable contributions of about $140,000 per year over the long term. It’s a relatively small amount that goes a long way.
In 2010, look for the chickadee on your individual income tax form and do your part for Kansas wildlife.