CONSERVATION -- First the state bird, then an elk, and a trout.
These iconic Idaho species are featured on the state's wildlife specialty license plates that can be seen on the front and rear bumpers of thousands of vehicles in Idaho in license plate program that raises money for wildlife conservation.
Funding from sales of these plates is earmarked for managing wildlife that are not hunted, fished or trapped—more than 10,000 species or 98 percent of Idaho’s species diversity.
Idaho Fish and Game has received about $850,000 a year in recent years from revenue generated by the three wildlife plates.
- Idaho’s 30 specialty license plates -- benefiting non-profit efforts including trails work and even a Corvette club and an appaloosa horse club -- raise $1.6 million a year for the various groups that benefit from them.
Idaho’s first wildlife license plate, the mountain bluebird, was approved by the Legislature in 1992 and went on sale July 1, 1993. A second plate, the Rocky Mountain elk, was added in 1998, followed by the cutthroat trout plate in 2003.
No state tax dollars are provided for wildlife diversity, conservation education and recreation programs, nor are any revenues from the sale of hunting or fishing licenses spent to implement wildlife diversity management and conservation. The primary source of revenue is the Idaho wildlife specialty license plates, partnered with direct donations, federal and private grants, and fundraising initiatives.