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    Every dollar counts: Remember Arizona’s wildlife at tax time - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Every dollar counts: Remember Arizona’s wildlife at tax time

    Every dollar counts: Remember Arizona’s wildlife at tax time

    “Make a mark” on your state tax return

    If you have yet to file your tax returns this year, you can make a significant difference in conserving our state’s bald eagles, black-footed ferrets, California condors, desert tortoises, native fish, and other wildlife. Taxpayers can “make a mark” for wildlife with a donation on their state income tax form.

    The Arizona Wildlife Fund is a voluntary program that allows Arizona taxpayers to make a donation to help imperiled and endangered wildlife and other nongame species. Nongame wildlife are those animals that are neither hunted nor fished in a traditional sense.

    “While we recognize that economic times are difficult for many residents right now, we hope that people will recognize the value of protecting our wildlife during these critical periods,” says Mike Senn, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s assistant director of wildlife management. “The cumulative effect of even a small donation has tremendous impact on conserving the state’s wildlife resources, which provide a variety of low-cost recreational opportunities for residents to enjoy and real economic benefits to local communities.”

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive general tax dollars, so donations to the Arizona Wildlife Fund provide an important funding source for wildlife conservation.

    Arizona is one of 41 states that allows taxpayers to make a contribution to worthwhile causes. Since Arizona started the program more than 25 years ago, taxpayers have donated more than $5 million to the conservation of nongame animals. In 2007, the most recent year for which figures are available, the average donation was more than $21.

    “Every dollar counts, and donations help ensure that the public has opportunities to view and enjoy one of Arizona’s greatest natural treasures – it’s diverse wildlife,” says Senn.

    The Arizona Wildlife Fund box can be found under the “Voluntary Gifts to:” section of the state’s income tax form.

    For more information on the Arizona Wildlife Fund, visit www.azgfd.gov/makeamark.

    To learn more about the conservation and reintroduction efforts the fund supports, visit www.azgfd.gov/w_c/nongame_species.shtml.

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