Today in Montpelier Gov. Shumlin unveiled three new conservation license plate designs: a loon, brook trout, and white-tailed deer. The sales of these plates supports the Nongame Wildlife Fund and the Watershed Grant Fund. The Watershed Grants Program is currently accepting applications for funding projects that help Vermonters protect, restore and enjoy the state’s watersheds. The applications are due no later than Friday, Nov. 21.
Conservation plates have raised over $2 million since they were first released in 1997.
• The original conservation plate was the peregrine falcon, the catamount plate was added in 2006.
• Funds from the sale of the plates are split between the Nongame Wildlife Fund and the Watershed Grant Fund.
• Funds in excess of the needs of the current programs will go to the Green Mountain Conservation Camps, where kids ages 12 to 16 learn about ecology and the outdoors
• The Nongame Wildlife Fund protects animals such as lynx, loons, bats, turtles, and bald eagles.
• The Watershed Grant Fund gives money to projects such as streambank plantings, a native plant nursery, and fish passage improvements.
• The loon was chosen by the public to replace the peregrine falcon through an online poll conducted by the Fish & Wildlife Department.
• Brook trout were chosen to represent the Watershed Grant Fund because they require clean water and intact habitat to thrive.
• The image for the brook trout plate was painted by former Fish & Wildlife commissioner Patrick Berry just before he stepped down as commissioner earlier in 2014. The deer and loon images were painted by Berlin, Vermont artist Linda Mirabile.
• Conservation license plates are purchased when drivers register their vehicle, either online or at the Montpelier, D.M.V.
• Conservation license plates are currently on 5,699 registered vehicles in Vermont.