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Goat Plate Sawtooth National Recreatiion Area | Sawtooth Society IdahoDrive around Central Idaho and you may notice what seems to be a growing affinity for goats. License plates with a big goat to one side are more and more prevalent throughout the area. It turns out the affinity is not necessarily for goats but for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Purchasing a goat license plate gives money directly to the betterment of the Sawtooth NRA. The non-profit conservation group the Sawtooth Society manages the Goat License Plate fund.  Four times per year, the organization reviews grant requests and allocates money to recreation-based projects throughout the area.

One regular recipient of the Goat License Plate Grant is the Sawtooth Avalanche Center.

“Without partners like the Sawtooth Society, the Avalanche Center’s flagship product – the daily avalanche advisories – would not be available 7 days a week,” said Sawtooth Avalanche Center Acting Director Scott Savage.

Backcountry skiers and snowmobilers rely on these advisories to keep them safe while recreating in the steep backcountry of the Sawtooth NRA. Through the Goat License Plate Grant, the Sawtooth Society sponsors one advisory day each week.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center is just one of many groups who benefit from the Goat Grant. In the past year, the Sawtooth Society has funded projects for the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Trails Association, Sawtooth Search and Rescue, the Sawtooth City Association, and the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Society or SIHA.

Terry Clark, Executive Director of SIHA, said that the Sawtooth Society has been very helpful throughout the years in providing funds to get various SIHA projects off the ground.  SIHA’s latest project is a two-part restoration of the Stanley Museum. With the License Plate Grant, along with funding from the Idaho Heritage Trust and Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee, SIHA was able to complete the first phase of the project, which included replacing part of the building’s foundation and siding.

“The place looks great,” Clark said.

Clark recently received word that the work done to the Stanley Museum earned SIHA the Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Museum Award. Not only is this award of the highest honor for an Idaho Museum, but it also comes with a $10,000 reward.

Clark said that without the financial assistance of programs like the Goat License Plate Grant, the museum would have gone unmaintained.

“The Goat Grant is very, very helpful to our operation,” Clark said.

The Sawtooth Society reviews grant requests quarterly.  To apply for a Goat License Plate grant, visit their website: www.sawtoothsociety.org.