Wear your support for wildlife on your bumper

During last year’s legislative session, Wildlife Conservation license plates were approved. Now you can put your support of Wyoming’s wildlife right on the bumper of your vehicle.

I’ve said before that hunters and anglers pay the bulk of the bill for wildlife conservation. Hunting and fishing license fees make up the majority of the funding for most state wildlife agencies, and taxes on guns, bows, ammunition, fishing rods, tackle, and other hunting and fishing gear add a little more to the pot each year.

Wildlife groups like the Muley Fanatic Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a bunch of others pay for specific projects to improve habitat or protect wildlife species, too.

Some groups that aren’t necessarily made up of hunters and anglers have made efforts to create taxes for other outdoor items that aren’t necessarily hunting- or fishing-related, like equipment birdwatchers, leaf-peepers or hikers use. These efforts have had some success, but the bulk of the funding still comes from hunting and fishing.

But at least in Wyoming, there’s another fund that helps pay for habitat and the animals that use it. It’s the Wildlife Conservation Fund, and anyone can help increase its balance. The Wildlife Conservation License Plates are now available for Wyoming vehicles. Anyone can opt for these plates, as long as the plates are for a vehicle that isn’t a commercial or multipurpose vehicle.

The plates will cost $180 above and beyond what the standard license plates would cost you, but $150 of that fee goes directly to the Wildlife Conservation Fund. That fund will be used primarily to build road crossings for wildlife that will go either over or under highways, which will help protect both the animals and the drivers on those roads. Think about upgrading to the Wildlife Conservation plates this year. Our wildlife and our roadways will thank you for it.