Use this template to contact your legislators regarding the budget proviso to reduce the maintenance and backlog on parks and recreation lands in the 2022 Washington legislative session. Please reach out by the 16th of February.
We are encouraging you to only reach out to the legislators who represent you. You can identify their email addresses here.
I am writing to you today as one of the 90% of Washingtonians who recreate outdoors. I am asking for your support in keeping Washington’s outdoors accessible and enjoyable for all by supporting $15 million annually in ongoing funding to reduce the maintenance backlog at three core public lands agencies – Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Visitation to state parks and recreation lands was already increasing pre-COVID, and it skyrocketed during the pandemic. Agencies expect current visitorship to only grow, especially since considerable population growth is happening in our state.
Yet, the maintenance backlog on state lands has continued to increase while funding has remained static. State agencies estimate that the cost of the current backlog on state lands is $50 million to $75 million annually. With more people getting outside, the impacts are noticeable – campgrounds, trails, roads, toilets and other facilities are in critical need of repairs and upgrades. The lack of resources needed to address the increased use is leading to damaged toilets, overflowing trash cans, damaged trails and a disappointing and confusing visitor experience. It is important we make investments now to improve recreation infrastructure to better manage peoples’ impact and help them responsibly visit these special places.
Our state needs to take action now to meet current and future needs.
This is why I am asking you to support the request for a total of $15 million dollars (operating) annually in ongoing funding to help reduce the maintenance backlog on state parks and recreation lands. The $5 million directed to each of the three agencies – Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – will take the first step in addressing the maintenance and operations shortfall of these agencies.