As you sweat and swear your way through this year's tax forms, it might lift spirits a little to check off the box for donating to Idaho's wildlife.
Taxpayers can check off the square on their Idaho tax forms to donate any amount of their refund to nongame animal programs administered by Fish and Game. Other Fish and Game programs aimed at game animals and fish are funded through the sale of licenses and tags to hunters and anglers. No general taxes go to either game or nongame programs.
Nongame programs include education, conservation and recreation. Examples of nongame wildlife projects include producing popular educational publications and doing research on nongame wildlife species. Better information about those species aids wildlife management efforts and could help keep some from becoming rare. Fish and Game efforts with these species can help protect wildlife species before they decline to the point of listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Besides the checkoff, the major source of funding for nongame programs is through the sale of the distinctive bluebird, cutthroat trout and elk license plates.