Wildlife & Recreation Coalition applauds House budget, funds acquisition of North Creek Forest in Bothell
The following is a release from the Wildlife & Recreation Coalition:
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, which brings together 280 businesses and non-profits, applauds the state House’s capital construction budget. The budget announced today includes $75 million in funding for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) and preserves the integrity of the program. The WWRP is the state’s premiere conservation and recreation program. It is the largest source of funding for local parks and trails and the only Washington state program that preserves farmland. WWRP funded projects have also done more to protect and restore Puget Sound than any other program.
“Today’s House capital budget shows a real commitment to protecting our state’s wonderful natural heritage and the nearly 200,000 outdoor recreation jobs that depend on it,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition. “As the Senate works to produce its budget, we need them to demonstrate the same commitment to our local parks, farms, forests and waterways.”
Governor Inslee's capital budget proposed $70 million for the WWRP. The House budget, at $75 million for WWRP, moves closer to the $97 million requested by the Coalition. Both the Governor and the House protect the integrity of the program by relying on a nationally-recognized impartial ranking process and not altering the list or order of projects, ensuring that funds are used fairly and for the best projects.
The House budget would fund 89 projects across the state, including:
• An acquisition by the city of Bothell of North Creek Forest to build walking and hiking trails and promote conservation and education
• New trail development along the Methow River in Twisp
• Expansion of day use facilities at Kukutali Preserve to include new trails, picnic areas and other facilities