License Plate Creates Sustainability

The work to get Senate Bill 13-224 passed is behind us now. Thanks primarily to Jen Boulton, Legislative Liaison, many of us are raising a glass in victory. The Protect Our Rivers license plate will be available for purchase January 1, 2014. As we celebrate, and we should, I'd like to remind us of the original reason we wanted to have the license plate.

  • To create a viable brand for Colorado TU. Even prior to the passing of the bill, we created the Protect Our Rivers Corporate Sponsorship Program using the same logo that was developed for the license plate two years ago. This program formalizes how we partner with local businesses, modernizing the 1% For Rivers concept originated with Upslope Brewing Company as well as the Round Up for Rivers concept employed with Freestone Outfitters.
  • To create an unrestricted revenue source that went directly to river protection. Though the money raised cannot be used for litigation or lobbying, it is otherwise available for river restoration and protection projects across the state. In analyzing the fiscal impact of the bill, the legislative council assumes that 1,000 plate sets will be sold in the first year and 100 sets in the following year. That would mean $25,000 to Colorado TU in year one, $2,500 in year two. Call me crazy, but I think we could easily double those numbers.

In this sense, the license plate is the first of what I intend to be many steps toward greater sustainability for rivers and our organization. It took a lot of upfront work to get it done, but the ongoing work is minimal and we will reap the value for years to come.

This is exactly the kind of sustainability that was the theme of Rendezvous 2013 and the backbone of my presidential platform. I look forward to sharing many more such examples over the next two years of my tenure!

- Rick Matsumoto, Colorado TU President