Huge proposed budget cuts are threatening recreation on our state public lands. Take two minutes to write to your lawmakers today.
In just a few short weeks, the final state budget will be on the desk for the Governor to sign. As it currently stands, the future of our state trails and recreation lands is under major threat.
Here are budget concerns that matter for hikers:
- The Senate budget takes $1 million from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Discover Pass revenues and redirects them to the state’s general fund.
- The Senate budget leaves Washington State Parks $5 million short, without the needed funds to provide the experiences its visitors expect.
Bottom-line for hikers? The proposed budgets put Washington agencies at major risk of having to close recreation sites and having to operate with inadequate maintenance resources and staff. Due to a lack of funding, DNR has closed 30 recreation sites since 2008. We cannot afford to see this number grow.
Outdoor recreation should be prioritized due to the significant impact it has on our state’s economy. The number of people on trails will only increase as our state’s population increases. These budgets do not address the fact that our public lands are chronically underfunded — in fact will make the problem worse. These budgets do not treat Washington’s state lands like the treasured landscapes they are.
This is why we need you, and we need you now. Write to your lawmakers, and tell them how important our state lands are to you. Tell them they need to invest in Washington’s natural resource agencies.Tell them it’s not OK to underinvest in Washington’s natural resource agencies. Let them know that you want to see our state lands stay open, accessible and properly maintained.
Our public lands are always there for us when we need to get outdoors. It’s our time to be there for them. Don’t wait. Email your legislators before these budget proposals become law.