News Release 11-006
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Sandy Mealing, (360) 902-8559
Steve Brand, (360) 725-9775
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388
State Parks: Proposed recreation permit would not be required for ocean beach access
Feb. 3, 2011 –
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).
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 $10 daily permit).
"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."
Visitors who park in formalized parking areas to gain access to ocean beaches would be required to have the access permit.
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. Representative Kevin Van De Wege, D-Olympic Peninsula, has introduced a companion bill, HB 1796, in the House. The proposed "Discover Pass" would be available for people to conveniently purchase when renewing vehicle license tabs through the Department of Licensing. Other purchase options also may be available.
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.
Washington State Parks is now on Twitter at WaStatePks_NEWS and YouTube at WashingtonStateParks.