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Greenfield Recorder – On The Ridge with Joe Judd: License Plate Updates
Greenfield Recorder – On The Ridge with Joe Judd: License Plate Updates

It has been over seven months since the Massachusetts State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation announced that reservations would soon be open for a new license plate featuring the image of an Eastern Wild Turkey. With this new plate debuting in the Bay State on November 18, 2023, we are close to reaching our goal number (one-third of the way to reaching our planned goals by year’s end). It was simply incredible to receive nearly 175 reservations for this special conservation plate.

Not only does this effort ensure that future generations can experience the rich history of perhaps the greatest conservation success story in our state’s history, but it also ensures that a portion of the revenue stays in Massachusetts. And it’s managed by our own state board, which becomes a lifeline for continuing the great work started with our MassWildlife partnership over 40 years ago. This is an important thing, so we wanted to remind people how this project started and how far we still have to go. We also want to share some news about where we’re going and how we plan to get there, while also providing a broader update on how things are progressing with the special passenger plates that have been ordered so far.

As many of you may know, in order to put this specialty plate into production, our organization must first process 750 applications/orders at the RMV processing center. Production of those 750 plates will begin once that order is completed and the plates are paid for. The initial cost to reserve a plate is $40 for the specialty plate, with the Massachusetts NWTF Chapter taking a $28 donation from that amount. There is also a $20 exchange fee when your plates are ready. There are still a good number of two and three digit numbers available for people who want to reserve a lower number, but reserving those plates costs a bit more. And after you receive your new plates with instructions on what to do with your old plates, the plates are simply renewed every two years, which is identical to renewing a passenger car license plate now. This renewal cost is a $100 registration fee – $60 for registration plus the $40 specialty plate fee that goes directly back to the chapter. You will be notified by the RMV when your plates are ready to ship. However, please keep in mind that no plates will be produced until we have 750 plates ordered and paid for. This can take a while. After that, it will take between 4-6 weeks for the plates to be produced and shipped to you. So patience becomes a virtue here, but we will keep you updated on the progress of the project.

Additionally, we have been in constant communication with the Massachusetts RMV throughout the process and will continue to do so until we reach our goal. And for organizations like ours, reaching our goal and the potential funding that comes with it is critical so we can continue our mission of acquiring and protecting habitat while partnering with like-minded organizations that share the same goals and vision as us.

And of course, the Register, like us, is excited about this project and is doing all it can to help us move forward. That gives us confidence that we will reach the numbers we need as word spreads and more advertising appears, which we expect to happen this fall. The plate is also now available on our new website that was created specifically for this plate. Visit the website at massturkeyplate.com to learn more. If you know anyone who is interested, hunts turkey, or just loves wild turkeys and conservation, talk to them and work with us to get these plates on the road. You can also pass along the following email addresses: [email protected], which will reach the old “Ridge Runner” himself, or [email protected], which will reach former State Chapter President Keith Fritz. We are happy to accept your application, discuss with you what license plates are available if you would like to select a number, or have a broader conversation about the project itself.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported this project so far and to those who will in the future. Your support has been tremendous as purchasing these plates is a wonderful way to support this wonderful resource, the Eastern Turk and without you this simply wouldn’t be possible!

Joe Judd is a lifelong hunter and sportsman. He is an outdoor writer, seminar speaker, member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and was inducted into the NE Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame in 2019. Joe is also a member of Quaker Boy Game Calls and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Pro-Staff. You can reach him at [email protected]

By Aurora