Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — BC Parks has sold a lot of those specialty licence plates you’re seeing everywhere on cars and trucks — more than 100,000 of them at last count.
“British Columbians are passionate about our parks, and this passion has helped us far exceed sales expectations for our specialty licence plates, generating more revenue for our parks and protected areas in one year than was initially forecasted for five years,” said George Heyman, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
Under the BC Parks plate program, motorists can choose one of three specialty plate designs depicting scenes from B.C.’s 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas.
The designs include the Kermode bear, an elusive white version of black bear found on B.C.’s coast, the snow-capped Purcell Mountains, symbolizing the province’s Interior region, and Porteau Cove, overlooking Howe Sound.
The Kermode bear design has been the most popular with 36,936 plates sold, followed by the Purcell Mountains, with 35,030 sales, and Porteau Cove, with 29,102 sales.
the estimated $2.3 million in revenue from the sales of specialty licence plates is going to a number of diverse programs and projects related to conservation, community engagement and Indigenous relations.
The specialty licence plates cost $50 for the initial purchase, and $40 for each annual renewal. All net proceeds from the sale and ongoing renewals of the specialty plates are being re-invested back into provincial parks through the Park Enhancement Fund.
BC’s parks and protected areas cover more than 14 million hectares — or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base and receive more than 23 million visits each year.
It is the third-largest parks system in North America, behind the United States National Park Service and Parks Canada.