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Time to Contribute to the "Chickadee Checkoff"

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Chickadee Checkoff

It’s tax season again and the state’s Wildlife Diversity Program is asking Iowans to make a contribution to help keep songbirds singing and butterflies flying.  The state legislature created “Chickadee Checkoff” in 1981. The voluntary donation on Iowa’s 1040 tax form goes to the Wildlife Diversity Program of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Wildlife biologist Stephanie Shepherd says the program is responsible for all wildlife species that you can’t hunt, fish, or trap.

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Monarch Butterflies

“And over the years it’s supported the reintroduction of species that had disappeared from the state like peregrine falcons. Trumpeter swans, currently, a big program it’s helping fund is monarch butterfly conservation efforts.”

Shepherd says the amount of money raised by the checkoff has gone down over the years.  She says there was a lot of excitement about the checkoff when it was first created.

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Stephanie Shepherd talks about how much the state makes from the Chickadee Checkoff
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Chickadee Checkoff

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“At that point, it would bring into 200-220 thousand most years. The last few years it’s been around 130 thousand.  When we were first put on the tax form we were the only checkoff and now there’s four.”

Shepherd says the checkoff is one of the last items on the 1040 tax form – at line 57. She says if you’re working with a tax preparer, just know you should make a point that you’d like to make a donation.

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