Since 1983, the Watchable Wildlife Program has relied heavily on the Wildlife Tax Check-off for funding. Montana Income Tax forms include a line and box for those check-off contributions. In addition, the check-off is a tax-deductible contribution available to all Montana taxpayers.
In 1983, more than 6,600 Montana taxpayers contributed to the check-off. FWP revenues at that time exceeded $35,000. In 1996, only 1,951 taxpayers contributed $16,081 to the tax check-off. Because of legislation (MCA 15-30-150-, 1993 Legislature HB 689), the wildlife check-off will be dropped from tax forms if the fund receives under $20,000 in two consecutive years. As a result according to program officials, "this year is crucial!"
"Fish, Wildlife & Parks has set a high priority on helping Montanans appreciate their natural heritage by working with program partners using contributed dollars to support education, recreation and conservation," said Doug Monger, assistant administrator of the Parks Division in Helena. "Your contribution will help assure that all Montanans can better enjoy and appreciate the diversity of our nongame wildlife."