Nov. 23, 2022
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — Each year, friends and family members of hunters, anglers and other conservationists are faced with the difficult task of trying to find a gift that says they pay attention to their passions. Each year, many hunters also quietly return the thoughtful gifts because it wasn’t quite what they need for the woods or water. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration have an excellent gift idea that won’t be returned – but you may want to act fast before they’re all taken.
Each year the AGFC produces a special run of vehicle license plates, each with its own outdoors-inspired artwork. The current year’s plate, which features award-winning artwork of a longear sunfish, is running out quickly, and once it’s gone, collectors and outdoors enthusiasts won’t be able to get their hands on one again.
The license plate costs an additional $35 over regular registration costs. The AGFC receives $25 of that fee, which is then directed to conservation education efforts. One of the larger programs the plates support is the AGFC’s Conservation Scholarship Program. This program offers tuition assistance for any Arkansas student who has a declared major associated with conservation.
The Conservation License Plate Program began in 2000 and has provided more than $18 million for scholarships and conservation education efforts in Arkansas since its inception. The program has generated $1 million each year since 2008. The longear sunfish is the fifth aquatic species to be featured on a Conservation License Plate. The previous four were largemouth bass (2002), rainbow trout (2005), black crappie (2012) and smallmouth bass (2015).
Be on the lookout for next year’s plate design, which will be announced in an upcoming issue of Arkansas Wildlife Weekly. It will feature a species that has seen one of the greatest conservation comeback stories in history.
Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/about-agfc/conservation-license-plates to learn more about the AGFC Conservation License Plate Program and how to purchase a plate.