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Time is running out for the Washington State Legislature to finalize its budget for the next two years and our state parks and forests are critically underfunded. The proposed budget underfunds maintenance and staffing, threatening future closures of recreation sites, beaches and trails. As Washington State’s population grows, more people are spending time outdoors and funding for state public lands needs to reflect this increasing demand.
Concerns with the 2019-2021 operating budget:
- This budget leaves Washington State Parks $5 million short, without the needed funds to provide the experiences its visitors expect.
- The current proposal will take $1 million from the DNR’s Discover Pass revenue and redirect it to the state’s general funds.
- With this reduction in funding, DNR’s ability to maintain its current sites is in jeopardy and could result in further site closures. Since 2008, DNR has had to close 30 recreation sites due to lack of funding.