The Coalition is enthusiastic about Governor Inslee’s inclusion $120 million for the WWRP in his budget, but will continue to advocate for Full Funding towards the legislature. Photo Credit: Christine Mahler.
The Coalition commends Governor Inslee for including $120 million for WWRP in his recently-released budget for the 2023-25 biennium. If funded at this proposed level, it will represent an all-time record for this critical funding program, providing an important investment in our environment and one of the state’s largest economic engines: the outdoor recreation economy.
As Washington’s incredible natural beauty and abundance of outdoor opportunities continue to attract top employers and people from across the nation, the need for continued upkeep and protection of outdoor spaces is paramount.
“In a tough budget year, we are thrilled that Governor Inslee has recognized the critical nature of outdoor recreation and conservation to the lives and well-being of all Washingtonians,” said Christine Mahler, Executive Director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. “We greatly appreciate the level proposed by the Governor. As the legislature deliberates, we encourage them to consider Full Funding for the WWRP. We have seen the rise in demand in outdoor recreation and the necessary efforts to keep up with it—and to manage impacts on our environment. Full funding for the WWRP is critical to the recovery of ecosystems and wildlife, and would also ensure that future generations of Washingtonians will be able to recreate in places we hold near and dear to us.”
The Coalition continues to advocate for Full Funding for WWRP to the legislature. The COVID-19 crisis has brought record numbers of Washingtonians outdoors, seeking the mental and physical health benefits that outdoor recreation provides. Unfortunately, Washington has already been lagging behind on investments in outdoor recreation and this surge only served to highlight the existing and growing need. Additionally, it further highlighted the need to balance surging recreation demand with the needs of our environment and the ecosystems surrounding us.
Read more in the Coalition press release.