“Chickadee Checkoff” donations near record low in Iowa


A Trumpeter Swan. Source: Alan D. Wilson, Wikimedia

It’s easy for Iowans to help protect the state’s wildlife. By simply checking a box on their tax forms, they can donate money to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Fund, which the DNR uses to preserve species like frogs, butterflies, trumpeter swans and bald eagles.

But donations to the fund, commonly dubbed the “Chickadee Checkoff,” have dropped in recent years and now hover near record lows, reports Radio Iowa:

Stephanie Shepherd, with the Department of Natural Resources, says donations have dropped 20% over the past six years. “We’re not entirely sure why folks are slowing down in their rate of giving,” Shepherd said. “It may just be a matter of them not knowing about the checkoff on the tax form.”

The Fish and Wildlife Fund and other checkoffs are located on line 58 of the state tax form. Shepherd says the most raised in a single year from the Fish and Wildlife Checkoff was around $250,000. “In recent years, we’ve been bringing in $109,000 – which is what was raised in the 2009 tax year – to around $120,000,” Shepherd said.

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About jmalewitz

Jim Malewitz is a journalism intern at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. Additionally, as a master's journalism student at the University of Iowa, he is conducting research on non-profit journalism while serving as an assistant editor at IowaWatch.org. Malewitz graduated from Grinnell College in 2009, where he majored in political science with a concentration in global development studies. He loves America, the states of Michigan and Iowa and Detroit Tigers baseball. He also an odd fascination with the former German Democratic Republic. He likes the environment too.
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