Return A Gift To Wildlife
Established in 1982, Return A Gift To Wildlife (RAGTW) is the only dedicated source of state funding made available to DEC to explicitly address the needs of all wildlife species. This legislation provided an opportunity to enhance DEC's fish and wildlife program. RAGTW funds are typically used to fund high priority projects that improve the management of rare species that either have no other source of funding or to provide required state match for federal grant funds that do the same.
How You Can Help
Donate to Return A Gift To Wildlife when you file your taxes. A voluntary contribution line on the state income tax form provides every taxpayer with an easy, simple way to support fish and wildlife conservation. Any whole dollar amount may be contributed whether taxes are owed or a refund is due, and all contributions are tax-deductible on the following year's return. Direct contributions may also be made to RAGTW, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4751.
Contributions Fund Wildlife Projects
More than 250 projects have been totally or partially funded through RAGTW since its inception, and many of these projects would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our citizens.
RAGTW has helped:
- the loons of the Adirondacks;
- whales, seals, and sea turtles on Long Island;
- endangered species such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons throughout the state; and
- implement comprehensive surveys and inventories of many species and their habitats.
Major publications from these surveys, also funded by RAGTW, include:
- Bull's Birds of New York State;
- Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State;
- The Inland Fishes of New York State; and
- hundreds of research reports and educational pamphlets.
RAGTW receives approximately $450,000 annually from tax return contributions, which are currently being used to fund the following projects:
- New York Natural Heritage Program, a network of information on the location of rare and endangered fish, wildlife, and plant species and ecological communities throughout the state.
- Project Wild, a program providing instruction to elementary and secondary school teachers about incorporating wildlife education in school curricula.