Lucinda Whaley: State Parks Are Good Public Investment for Washington

February 17, 2019

Check out an op-ed written by a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissioner.

Excerpt: We’ve worked hard to improve the Discover Pass, which has helped to fuel the rebuilding of the agency since the Great Recession. Revenues from the pass now make up 28 percent of Parks’ earned revenue. Earned revenue now makes up 80 percent of general operations, with only 20 percent coming from public tax support – a complete reversal in financing from 10 years ago.

However, as recovery continues and demand on parks continues to grow, fees alone are not sufficient to run the park system. Staffing remains at 2008 levels (540 year-round staff and 500 seasonal). Costs of doing business are going up. Our rapid population growth is putting additional pressure on staff and services and wear and tear on aging facilities.

Read the full article in the Spokesman-Review.