Read an op-ed written in the Seattle Times by former US Senator/Washington Governor Dan Evans and former US Congressman/Washington Governor Mike Lowry, who co-founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition in 1989.
Excerpt: “…our state’s growing population needs better access to outdoor recreation. However, that same population growth endangers wildlife habitat that, once lost, cannot be regained. Our state remains in need of more and improved wildlife habitat. Many species are in decline as the population grows and available habitat is lost. We must continue to protect critical species and habitat, and preserve our natural heritage. Our state remains in need of more and improved wildlife habitat. Many species are in decline as the population grows and available habitat is lost.
Furthermore, we reject the false choice that pits habitat and outdoor recreation against one another. Both are critically needed to serve our growing population. In fact, most of the habitat lands acquired by the state also provide public access for outdoor recreation. The state faces a plethora of demands for more natural areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor-recreation opportunities. We can’t ignore a single one of these needs.
That is why we joined together to establish the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a competitive grant program to which state and local agencies, nonprofit organizations and Indian tribes may apply. Independent panels of experts evaluate projects to ensure that only the best projects receive state funds. Project sponsors must bring proposals with full community support, as evidenced by local matching funds, volunteers, donations and letters of support. This program is a refreshing alternative to legislative earmarking for specific projects, which is how projects were funded in Washington before the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, and is how projects are funded in most other states.”
Read the whole article in the Seattle Times.