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Help Alabama’s Wildlife in 2009

February 19, 2009

If you enjoy watching wildlife, here is your chance to lend it a helping hand. Alabama is home to more than 1,000 species of animals that are categorized as “nongame,” species that are not hunted, fished or trapped. The Nongame Wildlife Program, administered by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is responsible for monitoring more than 900 of these species. You see many of them every day in your back yard, like cardinals, robins and bluebirds. Some of the species are threatened or endangered due to loss of habitat and low populations, such as gopher tortoises and Eastern indigo snakes.
 
The Nongame Wildlife Program does not receive state tax dollars. It is partially funded by the citizens of Alabama through tax-deductible donations. In 1982, the Alabama Legislature enacted a law providing for the “Alabama Nongame Wildlife Fund” check-off box on the state income tax form. This provides citizens concerned about the welfare of nongame wildlife a way to donate all or a portion of their state tax refunds for the benefit of nongame wildlife. These donations are matched with federal funds, so even the smallest donation is valuable. The federal funds come from the Pittman-Robertson Act, an excise tax on sporting firearms, ammunition and archery equipment earmarked for wildlife restoration and management.
 
Past donations to the Nongame Wildlife Program helped bring back bald eagles, ospreys and bluebirds to Alabama, but many other nongame wildlife species still need help. This year, give something back to wildlife for all the enjoyment it has given you. Make a donation to the Alabama Nongame Wildlife Fund on your 2008 state income tax form.
 
For those not receiving a state income tax refund, tax-deductible donations can be made to Alabama’s Nongame Wildlife Program, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, 64 North Union St., Montgomery, AL 36130. For more information call 334-242-3469 or email Mark Sasser at Mark.Sasser@dcnr.alabama.gov. 
 
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.
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