House Committee unanimously voted for jobs, public access through Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a non-profit citizens group made up of more than 275 sportsmen, conservation, and business groups, announced today that they are launching an ad campaign thanking the state House Capital Budget Committee for their unanimous support for Washington’s outdoors.
The Coalition has purchased ads thanking all 11 committee members for their vote to dedicate $70 million in the capital construction budget to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program funding nearly 100 grassroots projects in communities across the state. For more than two decades, the WWRP has been the state’s primary source of funding for local parks, trails, and wildlife habitat and continues to be the only source of state funding for working farms.
“This committee understands that conservation is not a partisan issue,” said Joanna Grist, the Coalition’s executive director. “Strong funding for this program means new jobs will be created in our communities and we will all continue to have access to the outdoors that are so essential to Washington’s identity. These ads represent our gratitude for the representatives’ respect for this important legacy.”
By this weekend, all the ads will have run in the hometown papers of the committee members, thanking them for their steadfast support. The ads include:
- Hans Dunshee (D-Everett) Chair
- Derek Stanford, (D-Mountlake Terrace)
- Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake) Ranking Minority Member
- Brad Hawkins (R-Wenatchee)
- Drew MacEwen (R-Union)
- Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo)
- Jake Fey (D-University Place)
- Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane)
- Elizabeth Scott (R-Monroe)
- Norma Smith (R-Clinton)
- Monica Stonier (D-Vancouver)
The original ads can be found here.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation annually contributes $22.5 billion to Washington’s economy, supporting 227,000 jobs.
In contrast to the House’s budget proposal, the state Senate would cut WWRP funding to the lowest level in the program’s history and remove the competitive ranking system that has been essential to ensuring only the best projects receive funding.
About the Coalition
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a non-profit citizens group founded in a historic bipartisan effort by former Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry. The Coalition’s members consist of a diverse group of over 275 organizations representing conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming and community interests. The breadth and diversity of the Coalition is the key to its success–no one member could secure such a high level of funding for parks and habitat on its own.