Fish and Wildlife Commission Recommends Doubling Funds for Wildlife, Recreation Projects

July 10, 2006

STATEWIDE: The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is recommending significantly increasing the funding of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, pointing to the overwhelming demand for  park improvement and development, along with the need to preserve more wild places and working farms.

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that protects habitat, creates and improves local and state parks, and preserves farmlands and shorelines. Since its inception in 1990, the program has granted over $450 million to fund 775 projects across the state.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will recommend that the Governor and State Legislature double funding for the WWRP from the current $50 million to $100 million in the 2007-09 biennium State Budget. The additional grant money would be used for wildlife land acquisition, park development and renovation, and farmland conservation.  The Fish and Wildlife Commission establishes State policy and direction for fish and wildlife species and their habitats in Washington.

“Fishing, hunting and wildlife enthusiasts across Washington can credit the WWRP for preserving thousands of acres of crucial habitat, along with the development of many parks, trails and other outdoor amenities,” said Lee Fouts of Puyallup, past-State Chair of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a member of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. “As population growth crowds wild places in our state, and demand for more outdoor opportunities increases, it’s absolutely essential that we support more funding for this important program.”