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New license plate proposed to raise cash for Sierra Nevada

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New license plate proposed to raise cash for Sierra Nevada

Postby copeg » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:05 am

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6474205

New license plate proposed to raise cash for Sierra Nevada
By Paul Rogers
Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:07/26/2007 07:40:19 PM PDT
California offers motorists a commemorative license plate for the coast, Lake Tahoe, veterans, children's art programs and Yosemite National Park.
Now a new license plate to help raise money for the Sierra Nevada - the state's world-famous mountain range - is in the works.
In a unanimous vote Thursday, the board of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a state agency based in Auburn, approved the design for a new license plate that features a bear, a pine tree, a river and steep mountains, with "California's Watershed" across the bottom.
Money raised from the plate, which will cost $50 to buy and $40 to renew in subsequent years, will go to fund environmental restoration projects, trails, fire prevention projects and other efforts in the Sierra.
"This is a way for the average citizen to invest in the Sierra Nevada and make sure it is in good hands," said Jim Branham, executive director of the conservancy.
Motorists can't yet purchase the plate, however.
The design, a contest winner by Sonora High School student Orion Day, now goes to the state Department of Motor Vehicles for approval. The DMV and the California Highway Patrol already have seen the plate and liked it, Branham said.
Once the DMV gives the OK, expected by year's end, the conservancy will have one year in which 7,500 people must sign up to buy the plate or it won't be printed.
Branham said the Sierra Fund, a non-profit environmental group, will lead a marketing campaign. The group already has roughly 2,400 people who have pre-registered, according to its Web site.
Dubbed "The Range of Light" by 19th-century naturalist John Muir, the Sierra Nevada, which means "Snowy Range" in Spanish, stretches 400 miles from Lassen County to the Tehachapi Pass near Bakersfield.
Will the plate sell?
"It's not visually arresting like the Yosemite plate and it doesn't say `Sierra Nevada,' " said Carl Zichella, regional director for the Sierra Club in Sacramento. "But they may hit their target because the Sierras are so popular and the funding is for a good cause."
Currently, California has 15 "special interest" plates. Most cost $50, with fees of up to $90 to personalize.
Because of concerns by the CHP that plate numbers were too hard to read on some specialized plates, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year signed a law that limits logos to no more than two by three inches.
The top selling plate?
The whale tail, with 19,000 on the road. It raises roughly $500,000 a year for beach cleanups, children's education and other Coastal Commission programs.
Contact Paul Rogers at progers@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5045.



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Postby ERIC » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:26 am

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Postby dave54 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:35 am

I am still waiting to see if I will support the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. If it turns into just a larger, more powerful version of TRPA I am not interested.
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Postby ERIC » Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:42 pm

Conservancy awaits DMV's OK on plate design

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
http://www.auburnjournal.com/articles/2 ... late31.txt


Motorists could soon have a new option to dress up their vehicles -- and raise funds to help preserve a world-famous mountain range.

Image
This rendering of the concept
of what the Sierra Nevada license
plate is moving toward consideration
by the Department of Motor Vehicles.



The Sierra Nevada license plate design concept -- replete with a bear, pine tree, river, mountains and the words "California Watershed" -- was given Sierra Nevada Conservancy board approval at its meeting last week in Truckee.

Jim Branham, executive director of the Auburn-based conservancy, said the plate -- which will cost $50 to buy and $40 to renew annually -- provides a relatively inexpensive buy-in for people who want to support the conservancy's work.

The conceptual design now goes to the state Department of Motor Vehicles for approval. Branham said that preliminary indications are positive, with both the DMV and California Highway Patrol officials providing preliminary positive comments.

"It's still a work in progress but the look and feel of what the board approved is going to be similar to what we have now," Branham said.

One suggestion from the board that will be incorporated into future designs would be snow, he said.

Once the state department signs off on the design, the conservancy has one year to sign up 7,500 vehicle owners to buy the plate. Department of Motor Vehicles approval could come as early as the end of the year.

If the 7,500 sign-up level is not reached, the plate will not be printed. The Nevada-City-based Sierra Fund - which has signed on to a partnership agreement to market the plate - already has a jump on the deadline, with about 2,500 people pre-registered.

Auburn Realtor Carol Leidy has Yosemite picture plates on her vehicle but said that she likes the conceptual drawing shown to her Monday of the Sierra Nevada tags.

"It's wonderful," Leidy said. "I would have bought it if it was available."

She said that the plate should prove popular with the public.

" But I would add a deer - a deer eating roses," Leidy said, with a smile.

California currently has 15 special-interest plates, including ones that raise funds for coastal preservation, Lake Tahoe, veterans, art programs and Yosemite National Park.

Top selling plate - at 19,000 - features a distinctive whale's tail and raises about $500,000 a year for California Coastal Conservancy programs.

The conservancy hasn't made a firm determination on how funding from the plates will be used.

"But we're cognizant that people want the money to be spent for real things," Branham said.

The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com, or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.
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