(a) The cost of programs established under this part shall be borne by the general fund or other sources. The federal cost share of approved programs pursuant to P.L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 889, § 6(d)(2)(i) and (ii), compiled in 16 U.S.C. § 1535(d)(2)(i) and (ii), for endangered species shall not exceed sixty-six and two thirds percent (66 2/3 %) of the costs stated in the cooperative agreement. The federal share may be increased to seventy-five percent (75%) whenever two (2) or more states having a common interest in one (1) or more endangered or threatened species, the conservation of which may be enhanced by cooperation of such states, enter jointly into an agreement with the executive director.
(b) The executive director is specifically authorized to accept from interested persons, firms, and corporations cash donations or donations of property to be converted to cash pursuant to the terms of the donor to be designated for the nongame and endangered species programs or to be designated for any other programs intended to effectuate the purposes of this part. At the discretion of the donor, cash donations or donations of property to be converted to cash pursuant to the terms of the donor may be made to the watchable wildlife fund. Evidence of the donations shall be by the issuance by the executive director of nongame certificates to the donors.
(c) Watchable wildlife endowment fund.
(1) Recognizing the growing number of nonconsumptive users of wildlife along with their interest and willingness to make donations in support of such programs, there is hereby created a fund called the “watchable wildlife endowment fund” to aid in the future funding of programs designed to perpetually benefit watchable wildlife and to aid in their nonconsumptive use by the public.
(2) Moneys shall be deposited to the fund as provided in this section and shall be invested for the benefit of the fund pursuant to § 9-4-603, § 9-4-608, or § 9-4-612. Moneys in the fund shall not revert to the general fund of the state, but shall remain available and appropriated exclusively for the purposes set forth in this section.
(3) This fund may be funded by donations as provided for in this section.
(4) No expenditure shall be made from the principal of the fund. No expenditures shall be made from the interest earned until the combination of principal and interest reaches five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). Thereafter, interest earned shall be available for expenditures to aid in carrying out the purposes of this fund.
(5) This fund is not intended to be the exclusive fund for holding donations authorized in this section and is not intended to affect any presently existing or future funds or means of holding and distributing moneys received through cash donations or through cash received from property donated and converted to cash pursuant to the terms of the donor. It is intended to provide the donor with an additional means of directing the use of the donor's donations.
Citation: T. C. A. § 70-8-110.