$48 million in park, trail, and habitat projects funded; projects in 26 counties make list —

$48 million in park, trail, and habitat projects funded; projects in 26 counties make list

Susan Zemek, Communications Manager, Office of the Interagency Committee, May 23, 2005

By Susan Zemek, of the Office of the Interagency Committee

May 23, 2005 

OLYMPIA - A total of 75 projects that will create or improve parks and trails, protect valuable wildlife habitat and give people access to the water will receive funding, the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation announced today.

The Interagency Committee approved funding for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grants at $48 million, an increase from 
$45 million funded in the 2003-05 biennium.

"Our goal is to protect the most significant lands for wildlife and outdoor recreation before they are converted to other uses," said Val Ogden of Vancouver, chair of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. "We also want to develop recreational lands to meet the needs of present and future generations."

The Interagency Committee awarded grants at its May 11 meeting to projects in the following counties:
 

Benton: $175,000 

Chelan:  $198,500

Clark:  $3,762,974 

Douglas:  $3,015,810

Franklin:  $329,660

Grant:  $342,318

Grays Harbor:  $246,330

Island:  $2,117,152

King:  $4,926,592

Kitsap:  $5,288,213

Klickitat:  $1,454,565

Lincoln:  $640,390

Mason:  $1,307,460

Okanogan:  $5,865,571

Pacific:  $2,645,250

Pend Oreille:  $189,802

Pierce:  $2,050,863

San Juan:  $1,178,000

Skagit:  $281,369

Snohomish:  $2,200,000

Spokane:  $500,000

Stevens:  $154,827

Thurston:  $2,027,104

Whatcom:  $1,674,951

Whitman:  $96,500

Yakima:  $4,027,674

Statewide:  $500,000

 "Washington is a great place to live because we care about the quality of the environment around us," Ogden said. "These grants invest money in
keeping Washington a premiere state for outdoor recreation."

This year, three state and 54 local agencies requested more than $85 million for 122 projects. The grant applications were reviewed and
ranked in August by evaluation teams comprised of volunteers who represented federal, state and local governments; recreational trail users; water sports enthusiasts; habitat specialists; and other people
with interests in habitat conservation and recreation.

The Legislature created the WWRP in 1990 as a response to increasing public demand for outdoor recreation land and growing concerns about
loss of wildlife habitat. Since then, the Interagency Committee has funded more than 700 projects totaling more than $453 million, resulting in thousands of acres of valuable wildlife habitat and some of the state's best recreation lands being placed into public protection.

Paid for by state general obligation bonds, WWRP is administered by the Interagency Committee, an eight-member board consisting of five citizens
appointed by the Governor, together with the Commissioner of Public Lands, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and director of
the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation was established in 1964 to finance
recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. A summary of the grant program is available at the Interagency Committee Web site at:
http://www.iac.wa.gov/iac/grants/wwrp.htm.

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