LITTLE ROCK â€“ You see â€˜em daily on streets and highways. You may have one on your own car or pickup. Yes, those conservation license plates are highly popular in Arkansas.
Now in their 15th year, the specialty plates administered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission continue to serve their primary purpose â€“ to generate scholarship funds for college students pursuing degrees in the broad field of conservation.
Well over a thousand students have been aided by these funds generated by the sale of more than 70,000 license plates over the years.
The plates cost $35 a year, and this is in addition to regular vehicle license fees. Of the money paid, $25 goes to the Game and Fish Commissionâ€™s conservation scholarship fund and $10 to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration for handling the sales.
All right, can you guess which has been the most popular in terms of sales of the 15 conservation license plates?
It is the ruby-throated hummingbird. Sales of the popular plate have totaled 8,010 over several years.
Runnerup is the first plate issued which depicted a white-tailed deer with 7,482 sales.
Purchasers of these conservation license plates can choose which one they want, although supplies of all may not be available in every revenue office.
The other plates and their sales to date:
3. Black Labrador retriever, 6,544.
4. Mallard duck, 5,867.
5. Butterfly, 5,271.
6. Elk, 4,723.
7. Second white-tailed deer, 4,586.
8. Black bear, 4,552.
9. Largemouth bass, 4,364.
10. Rainbow trout, 4,317.
11. Turkey, 4,306.
12. Ivory-billed woodpecker, 4,225.
13. Crappie, 3,470.
14. Bald eagle, 2,914.
The totals do not include the current conservation plate which depicts a fox squirrel.
The conservation plates are sold through the revenue offices of the Department of Finance and Administration, not through the AGFC. Gift certificates are available, however, from the AGFC.
Students studying wildlife management, natural resources and educational career paths may apply for the conservation scholarships. Applicants must be full-time students and Arkansas residents with a 2.5 grade-point average. Applications must be submitted by June 1 for fall semesters. For more information on the scholarship, go to http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationConservationScholarship.aspx.