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Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Posted by Andrea Imler at Jul 28, 2017 04:37 PM |

We're working to help improve the recreation pass system in Washington, and we need hikers to share your thoughts. Help make the pass system simpler and more equitable.

Have you ever driven to a trailhead only to realize that you don’t have the correct recreation access pass, such as the Northwest Forest Pass or Discover Pass, in your glove box? Have you dreamed of a simpler or more equitable system?

Now is your chance to speak up.

NW Forest Pass

A step towards a better system

While public lands remain chronically underfunded, recreation access passes like the Discover Pass and Northwest Forest Pass remain a reality for land management agencies. But there is plenty of room for improvement.

Thanks to a bill that hikers helped pass in 2016, state and federal land agencies, and recreation groups including WTA, are working together to do just that. The goal: "improve consistency, equity, and simplicity in recreational access fee systems while accounting for the fiscal health and stability of public land management.” The legislation also requested exploration of the potential for coordinating federal and state fees, including a “single pass to provide access to state and federal lands” and a “comprehensive and consistent approach to recreational fee discounts and exemptions.”

The simplification of the recreation access fee system is something that WTA has long supported. We’re glad to be a member of the Steering Committee working with the Ruckelshaus Center and Washington State University, land management agencies, such as Washington State Parks, the United States Forest Service and Washington State departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife, outdoor recreation and fishing and hunting groups on this review process.

Share Your Thoughts on recreation access passes

In order to gauge the public’s interest and feelings surrounding outdoor recreation and access passes, a survey has been designed to garner feedback.

It is critical that the Steering Committee and others involved in this process hear from Washington hikers.

Next Steps for the Recreation Access Pass Process

Once the survey closes at the end of August, results will be analyzed and provided to the groups working together to simplify the pass system.

From there, the information from the surveys will be used to inform the recreation access pass review process.

In late 2017 or early 2018, a report will be provided to the State Legislature identifying next steps and recommendations for Washington’s recreation access pass systems.


Mark King on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Website hangs despite using two different browsers (Safari & Chrome)

Posted by:

Mark King on Aug 01, 2017 10:25 AM

Andrea Imler on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Hi Mark -- sorry to hear about the website hang ups. I tried to replicate the issue on Safari, Chrome and IE and it loaded ok for me each time. It might have been that multiple people were accessing the survey at the same time as we just promoted it on Facebook. I would recommend trying again now that the "dust" has settled a bit. --Andrea Imler, WTA Advocacy Director

Posted by:

Andrea Imler on Aug 01, 2017 10:45 AM

digger4004 on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

I work at a sporting goods store and have a lot of customers complain about having to buy a discover pass when they buy a hunting and fishing licence. They feel that should be included when you buy the licence. mayybe you should look into including a discover pass at a discount if you buy a licence. Just a thought

Posted by:

digger4004 on Aug 01, 2017 02:19 PM

Andrea Imler on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Hi digger4004 -- your customers will be happy to know that they are well represented on the Steering Committee and there has been discussion around the multitude of passes and licenses, such as hunting and fishing. This has not gone unnoticed. --Andrea Imler, WTA Advocacy Director

Posted by:

Andrea Imler on Aug 01, 2017 03:54 PM

Camano on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Advocates need to be more creative in looking for funding. Lawmakers have privatized our public lands, through "access fees and passes" that are essential membership fees. This has discouraged access by the poor. The public should only be limited to accessing it's assets if the amount of users poses a threat to the sustainability of the public land. We should be looking to eliminate these "passes", fully funding the facilities we have now, and expanding access for our growing population and increased interest in outdoor recreation. Just my thoughts :)

Posted by:

Camano on Aug 01, 2017 08:21 PM

Chris Stengel on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Love our trails! I think people need to remember that, along with funding and the costs associated with keeping up these trails (passes and park fees), we, the users of these lands, have a duty to give back to help curb the cost of maintaining these lands. This can be in any form whether it's picking up trash on the trails, helping new hikers by providing good hiking tips or by volunteering with an organization that supports state and federal efforts.

Posted by:

Chris Stengel on Aug 06, 2017 04:42 PM

jkdkid on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

New to the hiking thing. Just got the bug this year. But this pass thing needs to be streamlined.

One pass for all the trails. There's no reason state and federal depts can be coordinated to make this happen.

Being new, I was shocked how many times we've come across a sign for yet another pass we haven't heard of before.

Decided it was easier to just pay the fine.

Posted by:

jkdkid on Aug 27, 2017 04:39 PM

DeanaR on Want a Simpler Pass System? Take This Survey

Did this go anywhere? What were the recommendations?

Posted by:

DeanaR on Aug 07, 2020 01:25 PM