With April 15 fast approaching, remember to help wildlife on tax returns
PRATT —While no one looks forward to the April 15 tax deadline, 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. Chickadee Checkoff donations help pay for programs such as 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 emphasis of the Chickadee Checkoff.

More than $4 million has been contributed to Chickadee Checkoff since 1981. Chickadee Checkoff funds can be used to match federal funds. In recent years, the Checkoff has leveraged dollars with federal match money to enlarge conservation projects through landowner incentive programs for sensitive species. Additionally, the Checkoff has served to document bald eagle nesting success and winter roosts in Kansas. 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.