MISSOULA Finally, an elk tag that's good all year.
A new kind of vehicle license tag commemorating elk and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is giving Montana motorists a way to help conservation. The specialty plates feature a handsome design of a walking bull elk on a gold background. The Elk Foundation collects $20 from each sale.
The plates are available for all passenger cars and light trucks licensed in Montana. The cost is $30 over and above the regular vehicle licensing cost. To obtain the specialty plates, fill out an application and send it along with $20 to a processing center. The application will be authorized and returned. Then simply take the authorized application to the county title and registration office, pay the regular licensing fees plus a one-time, $10 county treasurer administration fee to cover plate production costs, and pick up the new plates. Applications are available at county title and registration offices, or at www.wildelk.org/regions/nw/.
The unique fund-raising program was developed and spearheaded by Elk Foundation volunteers.
"We are very happy with the end product. It was a lot of work getting the program off the ground, but well worth the effort," said Al Christophersen of Helena, who serves as co-chairman of the Elk Foundation's volunteer activities in Montana. "Funds collected through this license plate program will be used for mission accomplishment work in Montana by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation."
Now in its 18th year, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has conserved or enhanced more than 3.8 million acres an area 50 percent larger than Yellowstone National Park of habitat for elk and other wildlife, 400,000 acres in Montana.
The organization has 138,000 members, 115,000 supporters and 10,000 volunteers. Working together in a five-year campaign called "Pass It On," the organization is on track to conserve an additional 2 million acres by 2005, restore elk to long-empty native ranges, and ensure an elk country legacy for future generations.
To learn more, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 1-800-CALL ELK.