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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Orcutt, other lawmakers back bills creating special Mount St. Helens license plate

By The Chronicle
Published: January 31, 2023, 2:02pm

CENTRALIA — The Mount St. Helens Institute said last week that its campaign for a special license plate featuring Mount St. Helens is back on track.

After previously gathering almost 4,000 signatures, legislation creating the license plate died during the 2020 legislative session due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the institute. Now, state Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, is sponsoring House Bill 1489 to create the plate. The bill is co-sponsored by state Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, and has a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by state Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, and co-sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia.

“Mount St. Helens is a natural wonder but also teaches us very important lessons about the power of nature and the resiliency and recovery of our natural environment after a natural event — even a catastrophic one,” Orcutt said in a statement “Proceeds of the plate will help further educational opportunities created by the eruption and recovery of Mount St. Helens.”

The license plate, designed by Don Clark of Invisible Creature, will raise money for the Mount St. Helens Institute, a nonprofit working to improve understanding and stewardship of the landscape through science, education and exploration at Mount St. Helens.

“We are thrilled that this campaign is back on track and we have the support of our legislators,” said Ray Yurkewycz, executive director of the Mount St. Helens Institute. “This license plate will not only give residents of Washington state a chance to show their pride in one of our state’s most iconic landmarks, but it will also support outdoor school for youth throughout Washington and help us to grow visibility for the important work we’re doing.”

Special design license plates in Washington typically cost an additional $30, with $2 going to the state and $28 going to a specific cause, which in this case would be the Mount St. Helens Institute. Special license plates can be purchased through the Washington Department of Licensing.

To show support for the Mount St. Helens license plate, sign the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/MSHSLP. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.mshinstitute.org or email Jared Steward, the strategic communications manager, at Jared@mshinstitute.org.