SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Four new wildlife vehicle license plates are coming to Georgia, and the Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division wants the public to help select the best tag design.
Georgians can vote for the new wildlife tags at www.georgiawildlife.com. Simply click on the "Make Your Vote Count" link, fill out the short survey and cast a vote for your favorite tag design.
A share of purchases and renewals of the new tag will go toward conservation and habitat restoration efforts for the Nongame Conservation Section, the Bobwhite Quail Initiative and the Trout Restoration Program of the DNR's Fisheries Management Section.
"We are excited about the opportunity to allow Georgians to vote on their favorite tag design through our website," said Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster. "We have many beautiful wildlife designs to pick from and we hope that the switch to a full plate design will excite the public and they will want one on their vehicle."
Information collected through the voting process will be used to determine which tags will be produced and made available for purchase through the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Services. Potential designs for the new wildlife license plates include:
-- Nongame wildlife tags, supporting the state's Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund - Two designs will be chosen including Blue heron in a shoals river scene; green tree frog; bald eagle soaring above Georgia pines; hummingbird with trumpet creeper; bald eagle with American flag; painted bunting; and North Atlantic right whale.
-- Bobwhite Quail Initiative tags, supporting the Bobwhite Quail Initiative - Mother quail and chicks; flushing covey with a white-tailed deer; and turkey and a flushing quail with a white-tailed buck.
-- Trout (Trout Unlimited) tags supporting the Fisheries Management Section trout conservation program - Brook trout; rainbow trout; trio including brook, rainbow and brown trout; and a brook trout chasing a fly.
The deadline to vote on the new tag designs is Sept. 15. The winning designs will then be announced and made available shortly afterward in local tag offices and for on-line renewals. Specialty plates cost $60 plus ad-valorem taxes and other fees standard for all plates. There is an annual renewal of $35. Georgia's Nongame Conservation Section receives no state general funds for its mission to conserve wildlife not legally hunted, fished for or trapped, as well as rare plants and natural habitats in the state. Instead, Nongame Conservation depends on direct contributions, grants, and fundraisers such as the nongame plates, which account for about two-thirds of funds raised. Learn more at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support .
Georgia's Bobwhite Quail Initiative License Plate provides the sole funding source to support habitat restoration efforts on private lands to benefit bobwhite quail and a host of other game and nongame wildlife species. The BQI is a proactive effort directed at restoring quality habitat for bobwhites and other early successional wildlife species on working farms and forestlands.
The Trout Unlimited License Plate benefits Georgia's trout fisheries. Georgia's Fisheries Section maintains and manages the freshwater fishery, fish habitat and the recreation supported by these resources to provide quality recreational fishing for the present and future generations, and working with other divisions assure water quality and water quantity is supportive of a healthy freshwater fishery. Georgia TU, part of a national grassroots volunteer organization, is devoted to conserving, protecting and restoring Georgia's trout fisheries.