Letter: Integrity of WWRP must be kept
I wanted to thank you for your editorial on how the Washington state Senate has decided to forego a time-tested, objective process for funding projects from within the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program. (April 10, “Injecting politics into parks.”) That approach of picking and choosing projects comes at the expense of our state's critical habitat, urban wildlife habitat and state parks and endangers the future of the program that is the state's primary means of protecting our great outdoors and our outdoor recreation areas. Per a state-funded study, outdoor recreation on public lands brings $713 million to the Snohomish County economy each year and directly supports over 8,000 jobs.
Beyond funding numerous local parks, WWRP has done a great job protecting our local water quality and wildlife habitat, including the Snohomish River estuary and delta wetlands in Everett, Lund's Creek in Lynwood, Lake Martha near Marysville and the Stillaguamish River in Arlington. These effective WWRP programs, in our rapidly developing region, ensure the preservation of our natural heritage for future generations. How many state programs do as much to improve our quality of life, drive our economy, and protect our great outdoors? What a great return on investment. As the Senate and House negotiate a compromise budget, the integrity of the WWRP must be preserved.