DNR unveils new pollinator license plate to help preserve critical habitat

January 14, 2021

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen today unveiled the design of Minnesota’s newest critical habitat license plate, featuring native pollinators including a bee and butterflies. The new license plate is available now online and at deputy registrar and driver’s license offices statewide.

“Many Minnesotans share a commitment to maintaining healthy populations of bees, butterflies and other native pollinators,” Strommen said. “This beautiful new critical habitat license plate is an opportunity to show your support for pollinators while providing important funding to preserve habitats.”

There is no need to wait for current license plate tabs to expire, as the license fee is prorated when a critical habitat license plate is purchased. The $30 annual contribution to the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Critical Habitat Program helps to preserve important wildlife habitat and plant communities such as wetlands, prairies, old growth forests and endangered orchid sites. Contributions over $30 go toward buying and managing important natural habitats, which are preserved as public lands. These lands are open to compatible public use, like hunting, hiking and wildlife watching.

The winning license plate design by artist Timothy Turenne depicts the monarch butterfly, Minnesota’s state butterfly, and rusty patched bumble bee, recently designated as the state bee.

In addition to purchasing the new license plate, Minnesotans can take other steps to help pollinators:

  • Grow milkweed, the monarch host plant, and other native flowers to provide nectar resources.
  • Provide open ground and unmown roadsides as appropriate.
  • Reduce pesticide use.

The DNR supports native pollinators by restoring and managing the ecosystems and plant communities they rely on for food. For example, restoration and management activities on DNR-administered lands provide approximately 1.1 million acres of habitat in the northern conservation core for monarch butterflies. The DNR continues implementation of Gov. Tim Walz’s 2019 Pollinator Executive Order through participation in the Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy and other proactive and durable pollinator conservation measures.

More information about Minnesota’s pollinators is available on the DNR website.  

More information about Minnesota’s Critical Habitat License Plates is available on the DNR’s critical habitat page.