New California license plate features redwoods, needs 7,500 orders by May

California’s spectacular state parks system — which ranges from statuesque redwoods to vast deserts and sweeping beaches — has hit some rough patches over the past five years with threatened parks closures, budget problems and even a famous drive-through giant sequoia tree falling down this winter in heavy storms.

As of Sunday afternoon, it had only 647, and environmental groups are ramping up efforts to sell as many as they can in the next two months.

“Our fingers are crossed,” said Sam Hodder, president of the Save the Redwoods League.

“It is a steep hill to climb,” he said, “but I believe the people of California love their state parks. If they are made aware of this opportunity to put their love on their license plates, I think they’ll welcome it.”

The league, a non-profit group based in San Francisco, has preserved 200,000 acres of redwood forests since 1918, many of which were ancient trees more than 1,000 years old that would have been cut down. The group has added them to state parks such as Big Basin, Butano, Portola Redwoods, Humboldt Redwoods, Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek.

The state parks plates cost $50 for first issue and $40 each year after, and for personalized plates, $98 for first issue and $78 each year after. To order, go to

Money raised if the plates qualify will fund specific state parks projects that the public can enjoy and appreciate, said Lisa Mangat, California’s state parks director.

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Chris Alexakisart, parks