With the 2018 tax season now in full swing, Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks Colorado filers to consider helping threatened and endangered wildlife when finalizing their state returns. A voluntary contribution through the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund helps fund wildlife rehabilitation facilities and contributes to non-game species management statewide.
CPW is included on Colorado state income tax form 104A as part of Checkoff Colorado, which allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the organization of their choice when filing their state income tax returns.
Specifying a contribution on line No. 1 of Colorado tax form 104CH (the Voluntary Contributions Schedule form) helps fund CPW programs that support conservation of non-game and threatened and endangered species and wildlife rehabilitation in the state of Colorado. Specified donations to the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund are tax-deductible and help support around 750 species of wildlife that cannot be hunted or fished. A portion of these donations also supply grant funding to partnering wildlife rehabilitation facilities throughout the state.
Most of Colorado's wildlife and natural resource management is funded through hunting, fishing and state parks customers fees. The agency receives very little money from the general fund. These user fees help keep our wildlife and wild spaces healthy. However, Colorado's wildlife need support from everyone; especially as our population continues to grow. Donations through the tax checkoff support species that need it most.
"Colorado's wildlife is one of the most valued resources of our state, and we are thankful for people who choose to make a contribution toward helping protect these vulnerable species," says Reid DeWalt, assistant director for wildlife and natural resources at CPW. "We mention each year that wildlife doesn't have an annual income. Our programs that focus on non-game and threatened and endangered species truly rely on these voluntary contributions."
Funds go to projects that manage or recover wildlife including birds of prey, amphibians, reptiles, lynx, river otters, black-footed ferrets and others. The Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund also helps support wildlife rehabilitation centers that work to care for injured and orphaned wildlife ranging from orphaned bear cubs to the great blue heron. In 2018, nearly $17,000 was distributed to 11 rehabbers requesting grant funding.
"The requests for funding help that we saw in the first round of wildlife rehabilitation grants in 2018 shows there's a big need out there. A lot of wildlife rehabbers run on shoestring budgets," said CPW Grants Administrator Jim Guthrie. "They are committed to Colorado's wildlife and put in a tremendous effort helping animals recover and return to the wild. Check-off donations are an important new source of support for their work."
Coloradans contributed more than $170,000 in 2018 to help a variety of species through the tax checkoff, making the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund the number one fund out of over 20 options for Colorado residents. Some recent non-game success stories in Colorado include the discovery of natural breeding after translocation of the endangered boreal toad, and the recent rehabilitation success story of eight orphaned bear cubs denned on Pikes Peak. Be a part of our next conservation story by checking off for wildlife on your 2018 Colorado state taxes.