MIKE BRAUN Your $$$ at work

Do you often wonder where those hard-earned dollars you spend at club events eventually end up?
When you bid on a piece of art at a Ducks Unlimited banquet, or maybe win a raffle at a National Wild Turkey Federation, do you ponder the eventual resting place for your greenbacks?
When you sign that checkoff box on your state income tax return, are you just a wee bit curious if that amount goes to good use?
Wonder no more.
Great example
The dedication of a nearly 500-acre plot of wetlands last week at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area in Trumbull County is a great example of just how well-spent sportsmen's funds are.
The annexation of these acres, formerly a wetland that was drained for farming but stayed wet and unfarmable, was a direct result of funds donated by -- among others -- DU, the NWTF and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The $1.3 million purchase price was met and the land acquired for conversion back to wetlands because sportsmen cared enough to donate big bucks to these groups.
The NWTF was instrumental in the purchase of the property with a $200,000 donation while DU offered $65,000 from its Marsh program. The ODNR's portion was nearly $700,000.
The donations sportsmen make are important for the acquisition and preservation of area like the MCWA.
Since 1984, Ohio's checkoff programs have generated more than $21 million. In 2001, nearly $1.1 million came from more than 143,000 Ohioans.
10 million acres
From DU, sportsmen and DU supporters have contributed more than $900 million and helped to preserve 10 million acres of wildlife habitat since the organization was incorporated in 1937.
The NWTF's members have helped to raise more than $150 million for projects benefiting wild turkeys throughout North America since the organization began in 1973.
So, when you drive by the MCWA, or run your dogs out at the Grand River Wildlife Area, or maybe drive by Magee Marsh or one of a number of other wildlife places that are there because of sportsmen's dollars, remember that you can make a difference. And then open that wallet without hesitation next time.

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