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The Mount St. Helens plate design featuring what many in the Skamania community see as Sweeney the goat.

Elizabeth Diers
for The Skamania Observer

In 2019 a community grass-roots effort went underway to get Mt. St. Helens its own license plate, the charge was led by The Mount St. Helens Institute, a Clark County-based non-profit. With a set goal to get 4,000 signatures. Unfortunately, due to the Covid "pandemic", the effort did not get enough support and it died in the legislation back in 2020.

The project has just been picked up again however. State Representative 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 state Senate, SB 5590 sponsored by Senator Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, and co-sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia.

"Mount St. Helen 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 press release.

In order for the Washington State Department of Licensing to consider a special license plate, they require at least 4,000 signatures from Washington State residents. The petition has already reached the minimum required signatures.

The standard cost for special license plates in Washington state are an additional thirty dollars on top of the usual fee of forty dollars. With two dollars going to the state and twenty-eight dollars going to special causes.

The twenty-eight dollars for this specialized plate will go towards the Mount St. Helens Institute to promote education, stewardship,and science at the Mount St. Helens volcano.

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