Hikers in Olympia Today, Lobbying to Keep State Lands Open
Nearly one hundred hikers are in the state capitol for Hiker Lobby Day, organized by Washington Trails Association. After a morning issue briefing and training session, hikers will spend the afternoon meeting with their state representatives and senators, urging their support for state recreation lands.
Does SB 5622 mean anything to you? How about HB 1796? If you're one of the dozens of hikers in Olympia today for Hiker Lobby Day, you'll be saying these bill numbers a lot, and hoping legislators remember to vote "yes" on them.
These legislative bills authorize the Discover Pass - a vehicle access pass for all State Parks, DNR lands and WDFW lands that would cost $30 annually, or $10 per day. State recreation lands, from Mount Si to Deception Pass State Park, will have to close their gates this summer if the legislature does not act soon to authorize a new sustainable funding source to manage these important places.
So, why do all of these hikers need to take a day off to meet with their legislators in Olympia to get this legislation passed? Hiker Lobby Day, organized by Washington Trails Association, is a crucial step in moving the new fee legislation forward. After a morning issue briefing and training session, participants will spend the afternoon meeting with their state representatives and senators, urging their support for the new funding source for state recreation lands. The critical mass of hikers who care deeply about these lands and the personal contact with legislators through in-person meetings can have the big impact WTA needs to secure solid support for these bills.
Hiker Lobby Day participants have the backing of thousands more hikers with them, too. They'll be delivering copies of the petition in support of funding state lands that has been signed by over 2,000 hikers.