Sierra Nevada Conservancy agrees to work with The Sierra Fund on license plate marketing campaign

December 7, 2006 Chester, CA –-

At the quarterly meeting of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board of Directors, held in Chester, California, the board unanimously supported The Sierra Fund's proposal for a marketing campaign to sell 7,500 specialty “Sierra Nevada Conservancy” license plates. The Board enthusiastically directed its Executive Officer Jim Branham to work with The Sierra Fund on the campaign.

The Sierra Fund's CEO, Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, made a presentation to the Board, outlining key facts essential to the campaign. “The Fund has played an important role in establishing the Conservancy, including bringing hundreds of Sierra community, business and conservation leaders into the State Capitol to advocate for full funding of the Conservancy budget, and for passage of AB 84, creating the license plate bill,” pointed out Ms. Martin. “Now we are eager to make sure we sell the plates and establish a sustainable funding source for the Conservancy.”

Key Points
* License plate program becomes law 1/1/07; Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) application likely to be available in late Spring, 2007.

* Campaign begins after Conservancy designs plate, submits application, and receives approval from DMV. Likely by Summer, 2007.

* All license plate reservations must be received by one year after DMV officially approves the plate; can be extended to two years by request to DMV.

* The Sierra Fund's volunteer Marketing Committee has secured 3,000 reservations to date.

AB 84, creating the specialty license plate program at DMV – authored by Assemblymembers Leslie and Laird and sponsored by The Sierra Fund – was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2006. The bill becomes law on January 1, 2007. DMV will then issue administrative rules to implement the program, including the creation of an application that state agencies must submit prior to DMV approval of a plate. This application will not likely be available until late Spring, 2007.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has indicated interest in creating a specialty license plate program to generate ongoing revenue for its conservation priorities. The Conservancy is currently sponsoring a contest to design a logo to represent the new agency, which will be completed by May, 2007. This logo could be a part of the license plate design that will be submitted as part of the Conservancy’s application to DMV.

Once the DMV has formally approved the application and license plate design, the Conservancy has exactly one year to secure 7,500 reservations. This time limit can be extended by one year.

The Sierra Fund (TSF) has led a license plate pre-registration campaign for nearly two years. The campaign has been directed to date by an all-volunteer marketing committee, which designed a full-color brochure and website to attract pre-registrations for the license plate. Nearly 3,000 license plates have been reserved through this process.

The TSF marketing committee researched practices used by other conservancies to sell their plates. This research pointed to one crucial fact – securing 7,500 reservations is an enormous task that will require a very sophisticated and aggressive campaign. Other conservancies have found that offering “thank-you gifts” (like free ski-lift tickets, gift coupons for meals, or other Sierra-based merchandise) is a helpful tool to encourage people to reserve plates.

For more information, or to indicate your interest in reserving a plate, visit our website:

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