"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

available.

"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.

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