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E-M:/ Tax Donations For The Birds!

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


by Raymond Rustem

Bald eagles, common terns, piping plovers, Kirtland's
warblers, loons and many other bird species benefit from
the contributions of concerned taxpayers.  You can help,
too.  On Michigan's state income tax form, next to the
"Loon," you have an opportunity to provide critical funds
to help manage these species.  Funding for nongame animals,
protected plants and their habitats are dependent on this
annual voluntary opportunity, which also supports research,
education and habitat improvement.  Many of Michigan's
threatened and endangered migratory birds also benefit from
this funding source.   

Michigan's threatened common loon, for example, will
benefit from a nongame fish and wildlife grant received by
Lake Superior State University.  The study seeks to
identify natural and artificial variables, including
recreational use, on the current and potential loon
occupation of lakes in the Upper Peninsula.  The first
phase of this project is a field analysis of 80 western
Upper Peninsula lakes.  Results of this research will help
with developing strategies to aid in loon recovery efforts. 
It is hoped this will result in an increase in the
successful occupation of loons on Upper Peninsula lake

Educational outreach efforts, many of which focus on
eagles, hawks, great blue herons and song birds, are made
possible through the tax checkoff contributions. 
Schoolteachers, youth leaders and citizens across the state
receive wildlife posters, assistance with the design of
teaching activities, videos and landscaping for wildlife
tips.  Some of the best birding areas and other watchable
wildlife locations are available to the Michigan vacationer
through a wildlife-viewing guide.

These are just a few ways your dollars are helping
wildlife.  Remember to "LOOK FOR THE LOON" on your state
income tax form.  For more information on other projects,
you can request a free copy of the quarterly newsletter,
"The Spotting Scope."  Send your name and address to
Natural Heritage Program, Box 30180, Lansing, MI 48909-
7680.  You also can find information through the Department
of Natural Resources Web site at www.dnr.state.mi.us. 

Raymond Rustem works for the Natural Heritage Program of
the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife
Bureau.  He can be reached via their website. Eve Rolandson
of the department notes that 49,575 people donated over
$559,000 through the check-off system last year.  They
would be happy to talk with others about their funding
strategy for wildlife.

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