"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">OLYMPIA
Representatives from the Washington State Parks and Recreation
Commission recently met with community leaders and businesses in
Pacific and Grays Harbor counties to discuss the agency's budget
and its potential effects on the Seashore Conservation Area (SCA).
As a result, it has been decided that the state will not charge for
beach parking and driving.
"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">The
State Parks Commission is working to address a proposed 70 percent
reduction to the agency's budget in the 2011 - 2013 biennium.
Additionally, the agency is expecting to be completely self-funded
by the 2013-2015 biennium. One method gaining ground to fund the
agency's operations is a user-pay system, whereby those who use the
parks and other state recreation lands, pay for them by purchasing
a $30 annual access permit (or a $10 daily permit).
"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">We
heard what the community said, and we want to come up with a plan
that will work best for everyone, said State Parks Director Don
Hoch. We have recommended to the Legislature that we not require
permits at beach accesses or beach driving.
"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Visitors
who park in formalized parking areas to gain access to ocean
beaches would be required to have the access permit.
"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">State
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Islands, has introduced Senate Bill
5622, creating a joint recreation access permit for parks and other
state recreation lands managed by the Department of Fish and
Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. Rep. Kevin Van De
Wege, D-Sequim, has introduced a companion bill, HB 1796, in the
House. The proposed Discover Pass would be available for people
to purchase when renewing vehicle license tabs through the
Department of Licensing. Other purchase options also may be
"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">The SCA
extends from roughly the Columbia River to the southern boundary of
the Quinault Nation. It includes approximately 60 miles of
coastline, with developed state parks and ocean beach access roads
within Pacific and Grays Harbor counties.