This tax filing season, donors can no longer “look for the loon,” the traditional slogan referencing the icon in the donation section of the Wisconsin income tax form to aid filers in gifting a portion of their tax return to the state Endangered Resources Fund.

Though donations through the tax check-off program can still be made, this year’s message asks donors “Where did the loon go?” because recent legislation removed all such icons from the tax forms.

“Losing a species on the tax form is one thing. Losing a species from the landscape is obviously something entirely different,” said Erin Crain, director of the Department of Natural Resources endangered resources program. “We couldn’t keep the icon from disappearing, but together we can surely help keep natural treasures from disappearing on the landscape.”

“That’s where we hope for continued donor support, despite the changes to the tax form. We need to be able to continue such conservation successes like the restoration of the bald eagle, trumpeter swan and vital native prairie habitats,” said Crain.

The endangered resources program preserves and manages more than 200 endangered and threatened Wisconsin plants and animals, as well as some of the state’s remaining examples of prairies, forests and wetlands.

Private donations account for 25 percent of the funding received by the program. Each dollar contributed through the tax check-off, or through a direct donation, is matched by a state dollar up to $500,000.

“Every donation made through the income tax check-off is an investment in the future of Wisconsin’s plants, wildlife and natural areas that make the state so special,” said Crain. “Any contribution, big or small, is a way to make sure Wisconsin’s plants and wildlife are around for future generations to enjoy.”

A series of features illustrating successes funded by private donations, is available on the DNR website.

To donate through the tax check-off, look for the “Donations” area on the Wisconsin income tax forms. Specifically, look for Line 37a on Form 1, Line 27a on Form 1A, and Line 14a on Form WI-Z.

For more information on the Endangered Resources Program or to make a donation immediately, please visit dnr.wi.gov, search keyword “ER.”

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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