Date: 3/9/17 3:55 pm From: Barbara Volkle <barb620...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program - support!
Support the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program!
*You can donate when filing your Massachusetts state income tax by entering an amount on Line 33a*: "Endangered Wildlife Conservation”.
A critical part of the funding equation for the MA Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program are your voluntary contributions on your Massachusetts state income tax form. If you care about the future of our wildlife and wild places here in Massachusetts, please contribute.
Good news! Contributions and # of contributors rose between 2014 and 2015! Total contributions rose from $ 201,084 in 2014 to $209,886 in 2015, a modest gain of 4.4 %. The number of contributors via the tax check off rose by 3.5 % to from 18,705 in 2014 to 19,364 contributors in 2015.Over the past 2 years, contributions are up $31,945 and 1,266 more filers contributed.
Your help is making a difference!
There’s plenty of room for improvement, however.This means that of the approximately 4.5 million tax filings, only 0.0025% made a contribution!
For additional details, see below. You'll also find additional ways to support NHESP'S efforts and some simple tips for spreading the word.
Thank you for your support of this important program!
Barbara Volkle Northborough, MA <barb620...>
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The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state. The Program's highest priority is protecting the 425 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, native plants that are officially listed on the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) list. The Fund provides critical funding to MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program <http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/> (NHESP), which helps restore populations of rare, native species to the state. For example, NHESP has worked for the past 30 years to restore the state’s peregrine falcon population to healthy numbers. The most recent count of nesting pairs numbered over 30; this is a great accomplishment considering Massachusetts had no nesting pairs in 1986. Over 500 wild-born chicks are known to have fledged since the beginning of conservation efforts in Massachusetts. Since 1984, the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and its partners have run a headstarting program for Northern Red-bellied Cooter, a federally endangered turtle. Over 4,000 turtles have been headstarted, with over 95% of them surviving past their first year after being re-released back into the wild.
The NHESP’s major source of funding is from the Inland Fisheries and Game fund which takes in revenue from sporting license fees, permitting, grants and federal aid. Except for Fiscal Years 2010, 2012 and 2015 general tax funds in the state budget have not been allocated to support the NHES Program. In years where they have had a line item, the amounts have been small. *For example, in FY 2015, the NHESP received $150,000 of general tax funds which ends up as a contribution of only 2 cents/person in Massachusetts!* Endangered species are worth more than 2 cents… The 150,000 dollars goes to NHESP in order to implement the Piping Plover Habitat Conservation Plan.
At this time of year, there is also an opportunity to contribute to the NHESP through a state tax check off by entering an amount on Line 33a: "Endangered Wildlife Conservation". In the past years, donations have been in a decline, but *I’m happy to report in 2015 that both the number of individuals and their contributions rose*.
Total contributions rose from $ 201,084 in 2014 to $209,886 in 2015, a modest gain of 4.4 %. The number of contributors via the tax check off rose by 3.5 % to from 18,705 in 2014 to 19,364 contributors in 2015.This is great news, but the need for funding endangered species conservation is still very real, especially in a small state where over *6. 75 million people share 5 million acres of land and fresh water with wildlife.
*The NHESP has also been subject to an administrative indirect cost rate (ICR) fee (for overhead costs such as lights and electricity) on an annual basis since 2003. Annually the Program, after much time and effort has been expended, has received a waiver of the ICR. This waiver is only granted to NHESP on an annual basis and a permanent waiver would be a tremendous help. In years when the waiver is not granted, NHESP is charged around $400,000, an almost unbearable hit for the Program. In 2011, a bill was filed to provide a _permanent_ waiver of this fee, the legislation passed in both houses of the legislature, but was vetoed by the governor. On a positive note, the waiver for the administrative indirect costs was granted for FY13, FY14, FY15 and has been granted for FY16.
To learn more about rare and endangered species conservation in Massachusetts, visit www.mass.gov/nhesp. Click on Support Us for more about the Program and additional information on the tax check off and making a contribution.
*You can donate when filing your Massachusetts state income tax by entering an amount on Line 33a*: "Endangered Wildlife Conservation". Ask your tax preparer, if you use one, to do this.
*If you have already filed your taxes*, you can still make a direct donation to the NHESP by sending a check made payable to */Comm. of MA NHESP /*to: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife 1 Rabbit Hill Road Westborough, MA 01581.
Your contribution is tax deductible on the federal level, but not for state tax purposes.
Additional ways to support MassWildlife’s NHESP include:
- *Contribute by making a direct donation of $20 or more* to support this worthwhile program!
- *Help spread the word!* Tell a friend, co-worker or neighbor about this program and its important work. Share this information with your local bird clubs and other community and conservation groups.
- *Get the information out* in your community via websites, social media, newsletters, or letters to the editor..
- “*Like” MassWildlife’s Facebook page* www.facebook.com/masswildlife <http://www.facebook.com/masswildlife> and share it with others as there are many postings about rare and endangered species projects. (See the recent release of a rehabilitated eagle at Wachusett Reservoir)