State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board Approve 2009-2010 Project List for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program
Olympia—Yesterday, the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board approved the final list of projects to be funded by the $70 million appropriation for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). The WWRP is a state grant program that funds parks, wildlife habitat and farmland conservation projects. $70 million funds 95 projects in Washington.
Please contact the Coalition for a complete list of local projects by county, city or legislative district.
In the 2009 legislative session, the legislature approved funding for the WWRP grant program at $70 million. The Coalition had requested a renewal of $100 million for the WWRP. Although the WWRP takes a 30% cut in this two-year budget cycle, there will be widespread benefits around the state at the $70 million level. This leverages $48.5 million in matching funds.
- Habitat Conservation – $26,190,000 for 24 natural areas and critical habitat.
- Outdoor Recreation – $26,190,000 for 45 state and local parks, trails and water access projects.
- Riparian Habitat – $9,700,000 for acquisition or restoration of 10 riparian habitat areas.
- Farmland Preservation – $5,820,000 for conservation easements on 12 farms.
WWRP projects are funded by bonds in the capital budget and do not compete with programs funded in the operating budget such as classroom size and social services. Capital projects are investments that are paid for over decades, and many assist in boosting local economies. Many WWRP projects are development projects that would create jobs. Others are acquisitions and conservation easements that will put dollars in the pockets of local landowners, helping to stimulate the local economy.
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board oversees the policies of the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), the state agency that administers the WWRP grant application process. The role of the Coalition is to demonstrate the need for funding for conservation projects and to promote and advocate for the WWRP program.
Including the $70 million in this budget cycle, the WWRP has granted $620 million leveraging an additional $444 million to fund over 1,000 projects since 1989. This year is the 20th anniversary of the WWRP. For more information on the Coalition and the WWRP, visit www.WildlifeRecreation.org.