We are thrilled to be able to share that the budget passed
last week by our state legislature and signed by the Governor restored the
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) and invested $55 million in
the grant program. The Coalition is grateful for this bipartisan compromise
which saved WWRP and ensured that our state continues to invest in our great
A previous proposal eliminated funding for most conservation
projects which provide critical public access for hiking, camping, hunting and
fishing. This proposal also rewrote the laws behind WWRP that made it a fair,
competitive grant program, and instead reduced it to earmarks.
Fortunately, you spoke out. Hundreds of you called your
legislators and others wrote letters to your local newspapers. You let your elected
officials know the impact WWRP has on citizens across our state and the role it
plays in supporting our outdoor economy, protecting our natural resources like
clean water, strong fisheries, and healthy farms and forests, and making our
state a great place to live. Thanks to your hard work, the legislature
recognized the importance of protecting our great outdoors and restored WWRP.
Particularly as our region grows and develops, we are
concerned that $55 million is a smaller investment in our outdoors than in
years past – down from $65 million in the last budget. This cut leaves
important projects unfunded across the state, but still provides support for 70
valuable projects that support recreation in our urban spaces and our great
The legislature also approved a program review that will be hosted
by the Recreation and Conservation Office, the state office that manages WWRP.
We are excited to participate in this latest piece of our ongoing efforts to
make sure WWRP is a fair, independent program that gives the most back to our
state and to make sure the program is ready for another 25 years of success.
Learn more about some of the projects you helped save.
Photo credit: momo go via Flickr