- The legislature provided $100m for the WWRP in the 2021-23 Capital Budget for outdoor recreation and conservation projects around the state.
- The response to COVID-19 created a surge in demand for outdoor recreation across the state—a good forecast of what we can expect every year in the near future with our growing population. We must invest now if we hope to meet the demands of the future.
- Investment is critical for our economy, for our environment, for working lands, and for critical fish and wildlife habitat around the state.
IMPROVE ACCESS TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Expand Discover Pass Free Days (SB 5504) to include WDFW and DNR managed lands.
- SB 5504; Sponsors: Senators Warnick, Van De Wege, Billig, Conway, Das, Lovelett, Mullet, Nguyen, Randall, Saldaña, Wagoner, Wilson, J., Wilson, L.
Establish Outdoor School For All, providing all 5th of 6th grade students the chance to experience the outdoors, developing teamwork, social-emotional skills, and learn about environmental and earth science.
- 2SHB 2078; Sponsors: Rule, Barkis, Ryu, Fitzgibbon, Simmons, Shewmake, Berry, Leavitt, Berg, Senn, Callan, Dent, Johnson, J., Kloba, Bergquist, Chambers, Wicks, Orwall, Tharinger, Taylor, Klippert, Pollet
EXPAND RESOURCES FOR OUTDOOR REC & CONSERVATION
Give Local Parks Funding Options by allowing communities to vote on a 1/10th of a cent local sales tax to fund local parks, proposed by their city, county, or park district for the purposes of acquiring land or improving and maintaining existing parks and for maintenance.
- HB 1025
Clarify the Conservation Futures Levy (HB 1672) is not subject to the 1% property tax limit and can be set locally by counties.
- HB 1672
PRESERVE AND PROTECT OUR PRECIOUS LANDS
Enhance Farmland Protection and Land Acquisition (FPLA) by allowing for agricultural conservation easements on land bought through the new Farmland Protection and Affordability Investment Program (FarmPAI) which provides land trusts with low-interest loans to buy high-quality farmland at high risk of development. The program has an explicit commitment to equitable access for would-be farmers who are Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).
- $2 million capital budget request
Reduce the maintenance backlogs (roads, gates, signage, trail maintenance, toilets, etc) on state parks & public lands through an additional $15 million in operating dollars. Provide $5m each to State Parks, DNR, and WDFW, on top of their agency requests which focus on current issues rather than backlog.
- $15 million ongoing operating budget request
Support WDFW urgent immediate funding needs driven by increase of use of water access areas during the pandemic. This includes cleaning and pumping toilets and removal of trash and dumping.
$500,000 allocation of existing Discover Pass funds
Support WDFW pressing long-term funding needs driven. This builds on the above to improve stewardship of wildlife areas and water access areas. Includes on-the-ground work, planning and rules development, and improving public engagement. Also includes evaluating the ecological impacts of recreation on these lands.
- $3.5 million in on-going operating funds