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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:48

The bear is back

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The iconic bear specialty license plate that raises dollars for Friends of the Smokies is being sold again, with an updated design that meets law enforcement visual requirements.

North Carolina is moving toward standardizing specialty license plates. This could in a few years halt the sell of unique plates such as this one, but for now, the redesigned plate allows the fundraising effort to continue.

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. The fee brought in more than $430,000 in 2011.

“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.”

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