July 26, 2013

State parks to remain open

After six months of session and a lot of help from all of you, the legislature managed to keep our State Parks from closing this year. As you may recall, the State Parks Commission requested $27 million in general tax support to keep our parks afloat and open. Going into the session, the agency was budgeted for $0 state funding or taxpayer support, which surely would have resulting in substantial closures of our state parks system.

Thankfully, that disaster was averted, and the legislature came together to provide $20 million for State Parks, along with critical capital budget money for repairs and improvements. This includes projects like Miller Peninsula, which will increase public access by building a parking lot and trailer parking and allow for repairs to the Iron Horse Trail tunnel at Snoqualmie Pass. We hope that the legislature will increase future general fund or taxpayer support for State Parks. The investment this year is just barely enough to keep parks from closing. Without a doubt, there is still more that we must do to care for one of the most amazing parks systems in the country.

Photo by J. Brew