December 12, 2005
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 892-7853
Wildlife license-plate backgrounds
new on list of holiday gift ideas
Looking for a holiday gift that's as wild as the great outdoors?
Gift givers have a new option this year with a choice of five new vehicle license-plate backgrounds bearing the images of a bald eagle, a killer whale, an elk, a mule deer and a black bear. The special plates cost $40, in addition to regular vehicle-licensing fees, with proceeds going to wildlife management programs for those and other species.
"The new license plates are already drawing a lot of interest," said Mike O'Malley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) watchable wildlife coordinator. "They give people a way to show their support for Washington's wildlife."
The new wildlife plate backgrounds will be available January 3, 2006. WDFW's website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/license_plates/) offers a color gift envelope that can be downloaded and printed to give a recipient funds for purchasing a "wild" license plate. The website also contains details on how to purchase the plates, along with the necessary verification form.
A sure-to-be-used gift for fishers and hunters is an annual recreational license. Fishing and hunting licenses may be purchased by phone (360 902-2464), over the Internet (http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov) and from hundreds of license dealers across the state. New licenses for the 2006-07 season are valid from April 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007.
Rates for annual fishing and hunting licenses remain unchanged from last year. Including transaction fees, the resident adult freshwater fishing license is $21.90; saltwater is $19.71; shellfish/seaweed is $10.95; and a combination license is $41.61. Resident hunting licenses vary with package options, ranging from a small game license at $32.85 to a deer/elk/cougar/bear combination license for $72.27. WDFW's website offers details on purchasing fishing and hunting licenses and permits at (http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/formpage.htm).
Here are some other ways to give an outdoor enthusiast a happy holiday:
- Chance of a lifetime: Tickets for WDFW's quarterly drawings for a lifetime of hunting and fishing privileges make great stocking stuffers. Tickets cost $6.50 for state residents and $12.50 for non-residents and are valid for all drawings within 365 days of purchase.
- Vehicle-use permits: For those who don't fish or hunt but want access for boating or wildlife-watching on more than 600 WDFW recreational sites statewide, an annual vehicle-use permit can be purchased for $10.95. See WDFW's licensing webpage for details.
- Backyard sanctuary: Learn how to create year-round backyard habitat that attracts birds and other wildlife for viewing enjoyment with the WDFW Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary packet. The $5 packet includes information covers the basics on landscaping, supplemental feeding, nest boxes and other topics. For ordering information, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/backyard/
- WDFW wildlife books: Two books published by WDFW make great gifts, too. "Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest" is a 392-page guide to living with - and dealing with - a variety of Northwest mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The mail-order cost is $25. "Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest" is a 320-page guide to landscaping for wildlife, including specialty gardens for butterflies and hummingbirds, ponds and waterways, nest boxes and feeders and more. Mail order cost is $28. For details, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/book/.