Date: 3/28/17 6:18 pm
From: Barbara Volkle <barb620...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program - support!
Here's a final reminder about an easy way to make a difference for
wildlife here in Massachusetts. These

funds have been used for peregrine falcon and piping plover work, just
to name two efforts.

*



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 0.004% 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...>

* * *

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!

- *Get involved in NHESP Citizen Science opportunities*, more
information is at www.mass.gov/NHESP <http://www.mass.gov/NHESP>

- *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)


 
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