The Oregon Wildlife Foundation has launched the Watch for Wildlife campaign to get Oregon’s next wildlife license plate approved by Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV).
Oregonians can show their support by ordering one at www.myowf.org/watchforwildlife.
The plate, featuring a mule deer and a Cascade Range mountain, was conceived by the Foundation and partners to raise awareness about wildlife-vehicle collisions on Oregon’s highways and roads. Mule deer are an iconic western species whose numbers are already in decline due to habitat loss and further imperiled as they cross busy Highway 97 in central Oregon during their annual migration.
“Preventing animal collisions on roadways is important to all Oregonians. The Watch for Wildlife license plate will help accomplish that. We can reduce collisions, reduce roadkill, and improve habitat connections for wildlife. It’s a win-win,” Oregon Wildlife Foundation Eexxcutive Director Tim Greseth said.
The DMV’s process to establish a new specialty license plate requires the plate sponsor to sell 3,000 vouchers. The voucher is redeemable for the plate once the sale requirement has been met and the plates are in production.
The $40 plate vouchers are being sold exclusively through the Foundation’s website. Go to www.myowf.org/watchforwildlife for more information and to make your purchase. So far, the Foundation has sold more than 300 plate vouchers to people from across the state and momentum is building.
Once the plate is established, proceeds from its sale and renewal will go into the Foundation’s Watch for Wildlife Fund, a dedicated source of funding for projects that improve wildlife passage for all species and throughout Oregon. Funds will be awarded to projects through the Foundation’s established grant-making process.
Watch for Wildlife is not specifically about protecting mule deer, but the high rate of vehicle collisions in Central Oregon make it a perfect example of a species that needs safe passage options.
Examples of projects that could be funded with Watch for Wildlife license plate proceeds include a wildlife underpass currently being constructed on Highway 97 near the town of Gilchrist in Central Oregon and the Harborton Frog Shuttle, an all-volunteer effort that helps threatened red-legged frogs migrate to and from their wetland across busy highway 30 in Northwest Portland.
Oregon Wildlife Foundation has been funding projects to conserve wildlife and improve access to Oregon’s outdoors since 1981.
To learn more, visit www.myowf.org