The new plate carries the distinctive profile of a black bear and the "Friends of the Smokies" tag. With more than 20,000 previous verisions of the plate already on the road, the Friends of the Smokies bear plate is one of the most popular specialty license plates in North Carolina, according to the friends group.
Of the extra $30 annual fee for the specialty tag, $20 goes to Friends of the Smokies to support a variety projects and programs in the North Carolina portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Last year this program generated more than $430,000 for park projects. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in America, and one of the few that does not charge an entrance fee.
“Every year, our plate buyers make a significant impact in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Friends North Carolina Director Holly Demuth. “They help deliver Parks as Classrooms programs to thousands of North Carolina school kids, and support the protection of the Smokies’ black bears and elk, to name a few.”
For more information about getting your own Friends of the Smokies specialty license plate, visit http://www.friendsofthesmokies.org/coolstuff.html or your local NC license plate office.
Since 1993, Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a park partner nonprofit organization, has raised more than $37 million to support educational programs, historic preservation projects, conservation of natural and cultural resources, and wildlife research and protection in the Smokies.