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Will budget crunch close Mount Si and Tiger Mountain trails?

Seattle PI

Unless Olympia lawmakers vote to create a "Discover Pass," recreationists will discover that two premier King County outdoor destinations -- Mount Si and Tiger Mountain -- are officially closed.

"It is a course I will work hard to avoid: This is precious stuff, but it underscores the fragile state of our budget right now," State Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark told seattlepi.com.

The proposed Discover Pass, winding its way through the Legislature, would cost $30 for the year's access to Washington State Parks, Department of Wildlife Lands, and land managed by the Department of Natural Resources.

All three of the state's land management agencies are not only cash strapped, but cash starved. They would get revenue from the Discover Pass, the largest chunk going to State Parks.

Goldmark is not exaggerating, said Jonathan Guzzo of the Washington Trails Association. "Given the governor's budget, which trims not fat but bone and muscle, that is an accurate representation of what they (the DNR) will have to do," Guzzo added.

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