The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources unveiled a new critical habitat license plate Thursday, which was designed by artist Timothy Turenne.

Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen had the honor of showing off the new design (pictured above), which features native pollinators including a bee and butterflies. Specifically, the design depicts the monarch butterfly, Minnesota’s state butterfly, and rusty patched bumble bee, recently designated as the state bee.

The new license plate is available now online and at deputy registrar and driver’s license offices statewide.  You don't have to wait until your current tabs expire to get the new plate as the license fee is prorated when a critical habitat license plate is purchased.

“Many Minnesotans share a commitment to maintaining healthy populations of bees, butterflies and other native pollinators,” Strommen said. “This beautiful new critical habitat license plate is an opportunity to show your support for pollinators while providing important funding to preserve habitats.”

Obtaining a critical habitat license plate requires a $30 contribution, with the money going to the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Critical Habitat Program, which helps to preserve important wildlife habitat and plant communities such as wetlands, prairies, old growth forests and endangered orchid sites. Contributions over $30 go toward buying and managing important natural habitats, which are preserved as public lands. These lands are open to compatible public use, like hunting, hiking and wildlife watching.

 

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While purchasing the new license plate will ultimately help pollinators, the DNR says Minnesotans can also help by taking the following steps:

  • Grow milkweed, the monarch host plant, and other native flowers to provide nectar resources.
  • Provide open ground and unmown roadsides as appropriate.
  • Reduce pesticide use.

For their part, the Minnesota DNR continues implementation of Gov. Tim Walz’s 2019 Pollinator Executive Order through participation in the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy and other proactive and durable pollinator conservation measures.

You can click on the button below to get more information on Minnesota’s pollinators.

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