Donate a Portion of Your Tax Return To Help Kansas Wildlife

Kansas Wildlife
Donate a Portion of Your Tax Return To Help Kansas Wildlife

PRATT, Kan. -( Nearly 99 percent of Kansas’ wildlife are designated as nongame species, or species that are not trapped, fished or hunted.

While revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses fund management practices that benefit all wildlife, funding aimed specifically at nongame species is needed.

The Kansas Nongame Wildlife Improvement Program, also known as Chickadee Checkoff, provides individuals with the opportunity to support nongame species through tax-deductible donations.

Money collected from these donations goes directly to a variety of nongame wildlife research, habitat enhancements/restorations, and educational projects.

Consider making a contribution this tax season by marking the Chickadee Checkoff box on your state income tax form (line 36 on K40 form) and designate the amount you would like to donate.

There is no minimum or incremental requirement. Donations can also be made directly to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) by addressing the donation to Chickadee Checkoff c/o KDWPT 512 SE 25th Ave, Pratt, KS 67124.

Private donations are crucial to managing these vital species since Chickadee Checkoff proceeds are matched by federal funds.

Contributions have been steadily decreasing in recent years, making it imperative that Kansans mark the Chickadee Checkoff box this year.

What Is The Chickadee Checkoff?

The Chickadee Checkoff logo

The Chickadee Checkoff is a line appearing on the Kansas Individual Income Tax forms. Since1980, it has provided Kansans an opportunity to contribute to wildlife programs. The checkoff has allowed donations to projects for species of wildlife not normally hunted.

In other words, if you want some money to go to projects to help eagles, songbirds, threatened and endangered species, turtles, lizards, butterflies and pretty little stream darters, then this gives you the opportunity to donate directly to these programs.

Since 1980, over $4 million dollars have been donated for nongame. It surprises many that there are relatively few who keep this vital program going. The chart below shows the annual contributions for the Chickadee Checkoff.

The mean number of contributors throughout the checkoff’s history is a little over 16,000. The highest year saw 26,572 contributors and was largely due to the first time the chickadee logo appearing on the tax form and, therefore, creating an effective visual reminder to folks to donate to wildlife.

However, since then, donations have steadily declined for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the appearance of good but competing checkoffs for other programs on the tax form.

In recent years around 10,000 folks still donate to this important program for nongame but they give more than twice of what they used to when the program was conceived, going from an average donation of $5.24 to over $12 per contributor.

The charts below depict the number of contributions and contributors through the years along with the mean contribution per year. The mean annual donations total $143,590.

For more information, visit their website.

Take an active part in managing and conserving Kansas’ diverse wildlife for future generations. Check the chickadee.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT)

About KDWPT:

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is a cabinet-level agency with a Secretary appointed by the Governor. A seven-member, bipartisan commission, also appointed by the Governor, advises the Secretary and approves regulations governing outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife resources in Kansas. The commission conducts business during regular public sessions.

KDWPT employs approximately 460 full-time employees in five divisions: Executive Services, Administrative Services, Fisheries and Wildlife, Law Enforcement, Parks and Tourism.

Department History:

  • 1905 – Fish and game laws were organized under the Kansas Fish and Game Department and implementation of a state law requiring a license to hunt.
  • 1911 – The State Fish and Game Department was placed under the supervision of the University of Kansas Board of Regents
  • 1925 – The Fish and Game Department was reorganized as the Kansas Forestry, Fish and Game Commission with three board members appointed by the Governor.
  • 1927 – Commission was reorganized and was given approval to organize a warden service. Fishing licenses required of men 18-70.
  • 1939 – Commission’s three-member board was abolished by the legislature and replaced by a six-member bipartisan commission appointed by the Governor
  • 1943 – Legislature gives the commission full authority to set seasons and dates
  • 1955 – The legislature and Gov. Fred Hall create the State Park and Resources Authority.
  • 1960 – First Kansas boating laws enacted
  • 1987 – Gov. Mike Hayden signs executive order merging the State Park and Resources Authority and Fish and Game Commission to create the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
  • 2011 – Gov. Sam Brownback signs executive order moving the Division of Tourism from the Department of Commerce to the newly renamed Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism