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 in funding. Putting this into perspective, it means 10,039 Conserving Wildlife license plates were purchased or renewed to fund those projects. Since 2012, the organization has awarded 100 grants totaling more than $520,900.
Every time someone purchases or renews one of these specialty license plates through the state of Arizona, AZSFWC receives $17 of the $25 cost. 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 were landscape-scale habitat efforts requiring significant coordination by AZSFWC member organizations with other partners, including federal and state agencies (such as the Arizona Game and Fish Department), other nongovernmental organizations, private landowners, and volunteers:
- A National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) project continues with a multi-year landscape restoration in the Pinaleno Mountains (Mt Graham) in southeastern Arizona. The Pinaleno Ecosystem Restoration Project will reduce dense timber stands in this part of the Coronado National Forest and will directly benefit both Gould’s turkeys as well as the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel. This project began in 2013 and is projected to continue through 2020.
- An Arizona Elk Society (AES) project is another long-term, landscape-scale 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 as well as enhancing the drainage, water table and waterway.
- An Arizona Deer Association (ADA) project is a landscape-scale habitat project 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. The project will begin in 2018.
To see a list of past grant recipients and funded projects, visit 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. Its 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 initiatives. For more information about AZSFWC, visit http://azsfwc.org/about/ or contact AZSFWC Administrator Tracy Unmacht at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 361-6478.
Did you know?
The Arizona Game and Fish Department receives NO Arizona general fund tax dollars? We hold the state’s wildlife in trust for the public without a dime from Arizona taxpayers.