Wisconsin now has specialty license plates the spotlight the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and go to support habitat improvement projects.
Wisconsin is now the tenth state to offer automobile specialty license plates that will benefit habitat improvement and conservation projects in the state. The new plates highlight the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and their conservation mission.
Wisconsin joins Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia in presenting the plates to the public.
Wisconsin is a strong supporter of the RMEF. A press release from the RMEF states that, "Wisconsin is home to nearly 10,000 RMEF members in 24 chapters across the state."
Don Blakley, RMEF vice president of Operations stated, "We are grateful for and recognize the efforts of dedicated RMEF volunteers and staffers in Wisconsin for making this happen. We also appreciate Wisconsin state legislators in seeing this through and for Governor Scott Walker who signed it into law."
Blakley emphasized that the funds from the sale of the plates would go to enhance the RMEF mission:
"Funds collected from the sales of license plates in Wisconsin, and those in other states with RMEF specialty plates, go directly toward habitat enhancement work in that specific state and toward accomplishing our mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage."
The effort to make these new license plates a reality took two years and involved many people. The end of the project was realized when the RMEF plate was approved by the Wisconsin State Assembly in a 90-2 vote, followed by a 29-3 vote of approval in the Wisconsin State Senate, before being signed by Governor Walker.
Over the last 26 years, 404 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects with a combined value of more than $7.7 million were completed in Wisconsin by RMEF and its partners. RMEF stated that, "Those projects protected or enhanced 4,065 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 1,270 acres."
Part of this effort includes the reintroduction of elk into the state, with burgeoning herds in Jackson and Ashland Counties.
The RMEF license plate depicts an elk with the banner "Hunting is Conservation" on the left side of the plate, and the RMEF logo in the upper right corner. "Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation" is embossed along the bottom edge.
The new plates will cost, in addition to the regular annual vehicle registration fee, 1) an annual tax-deductible $25 donation (which will go to RMEF) and 2) a $15 issuance fee.
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