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In 2017, more than 10,000 ‘Conserving Wildlife’ plates purchased, renewed

Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation’s “Conserving Wildlife” license plate helps pay for wildlife habitat-restoration projects throughout Arizona. (Illustration courtesy Mingus Mountain Longbeards Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation)

Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation’s “Conserving Wildlife” license plate helps pay for wildlife habitat-restoration projects throughout Arizona. (Illustration courtesy Mingus Mountain Longbeards Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation)

PHOENIX — Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation’s (AZSFWC) “Conserving Wildlife” license plate ended 2017 surpassing the prior year both in license plate sales and grant awards from the proceeds.

Last year, AZSFWC — a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization — awarded 16 different grants totaling $170,665. This funding was the result of the purchase or renewal of 10,039 Conserving Wildlife license plates. Since 2012, the organization has awarded 100 grants totaling more than $520,900.

AZSFWC receives $17 of the $25 cost of the purchase or renews of each of these specialty license plates in Arizona. These funds are placed in a dedicated account, and each quarter AZSFWC assesses grant proposals from qualified organizations.

Grant money benefits conservation-education efforts, youth recruitment and retention, and important habitat projects. Three notable projects are landscape-scale habitat efforts requiring significant coordination by AZSFWS member organizations with other partners, including federal and state agencies, other nongovernmental organizations, private landowners, and volunteers. The funded projects include a National Wild Turkey Federation project to restore landscape restoration in the Pinaleno Mountains (Mt. Graham) in southeastern Arizona. This Pinaleno Ecosystem Restoration Project will reduce dense timber stands in this part of the Coronado National Forest and will benefit Gould’s turkeys and the endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel. This project began in 2013 and is projected to continue through 2020.

Another project made possible through the purchase or renewal of these Conserving Wildlife license plates is the Arizona Elk Society’s long-term habitat effort in the Coconino National Forest near Clints Well in north-central Arizona. The Long Valley Meadow Restoration Project has several partners, restoring a forest meadow and enhancing the drainage, water table and waterway.

Additionally, an Arizona Deer Association project — supported with this AZSFWC grant funding and set to begin this year — will restore habitat near Payson, in the Tonto National Forest. The Round Valley Grassland Restoration will remove juniper and other woody plants that have taken over former grasslands.

To see a list of past grant recipients and funded projects, visit the website http://azsfwc.org/license-plate-fund-projects/. Arizona residents can purchase a Conserving Wildlife license plate at http://servicearizona.com.

AZSFWC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with 42 member and affiliate organizations representing more than 10,000 sportsmen and sportswomen. AZSFWC’s mission is to educate and inform sportsmen, wildlife conservation organizations and the general public on important issues related to wildlife and wildlife habitat, and to provide, via grants or other sources, funding to conserve Arizona’s wildlife populations through habitat enhancement. For more information about AZSFWC, visit http://azsfwc.org/ls or contact AZSFWC Administrator Tracy Unmacht at info@azsfwc.org or 602-361-6478.

Information provided by Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation

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