Sierra Nevada Conservancy votes to pursue license plate to raise funds for conservation

Bishop, California

October 5, 2006 —

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board of Directors, at their regularly scheduled board meeting held in the eastern region of the new Conservancy, unanimously adopted a motion asking their Executive Officer to look into pursuing a specialty license plate to benefit their new Conservancy. The Board took this action after Governor Schwarzenegger signed the AB 84 in late September 2006, clearing the way for the new specialty license plate program.

AB 84, co-authored by Assemblymembers Leslie and Laird and sponsored by The Sierra Fund, establishes a new specialty license plate program inside of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Specialty license plates, like the “whale tail” plate and the Tahoe plate, have become important revenue sources for conservation efforts by the California Coastal Conservancy and the Tahoe Conservancy. However, a court decision in 2004 had shut down the state's specialty license plate program, pending legislative actions to resolve constitutional speech issues. AB 84 resolved this problem by restricting future specialty license plates to only state agencies.

AB 84 becomes law on January 1, 2007, at which time the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin to develop the administrative pieces of the new program, including an application that agencies will use to apply for license plates. This process will take several months. During this period the Conservancy will be holding a competition for their “logo” which will likely also be used for the license plate.

Official license plate registration will likely not begin until late next spring.

In the meantime, you can pre-register for a plate at