*Every dollar provided to the nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy through the Yosemite specialty license plate program is allocated directly to specific projects that preserve and protect the park, and enrich the visitor experience.
*Yosemite Conservancy allocates 100 percent of the funds received to specific projects, even though legislation allows for up to 25 percent to be used for an organization’s administrative costs.
*In 2012, approximately $815,000 was raised by the program from nearly 44,000 participants.
*The program has helped fund park projects that may not have occurred without support of Yosemite Conservancy donors. The National Park Service in Yosemite provides the Conservancy with a priority list of projects where funding is needed. For example, funding from the specialty license plate program has been used on the following projects:
1) Expansive improvements to the Happy Isles area in Yosemite Valley, including a new exhibit at its visitor center; creating wheelchair access; and rehabilitating trails.
2) Improving the approach to Yosemite Falls, including a new trail system, habitat restoration, new picnic areas, interpretative displays and more.
3) The Junior Ranger program for children, which encourages a love of the outdoors, national parks and healthy lifestyle through ranger-led activities.
4) Improving overlooks with major renovations of viewing areas, adjacent trails, parking and educational information. These locations include: the iconic Tunnel View of Yosemite Valley; Half Dome overlook on Highway 120 looking toward Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley; and, Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road with expansive views of Sierra mountain ranges, Tenaya Lake and Yosemite Valley.
5)Bear-proof food lockers that help keep bears healthy and people safe.
6) Independent, external audits of the Yosemite Conservancy license plate program are conducted annually to ensure compliance. Additionally, an October 2012 State of California, Department of Finance review confirmed that the Conservancy is in compliance with program requirements.
*Yosemite Conservancy qualified for the program in 1993. It was one of the first specialty license plates in California.
*Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $75 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-800-469-7275.
Last updated April 2013