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Washington State Parks


Right Wing Wacko
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All I can say is YEA!

 

And that I'm glad I didn't renew my State Parks pass last month :)

 

Boy! that is good news. I have paid my $5 and then didn't see anyone. Other times, I have taken my chances but felt guilty. I bet the Ranger's are happy about that decision also.

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Don't count on it right away. It only passed the House. The Senate still has to act and, according to this morning's Seattle Times, the Committee Chair opposes it.

 

linky

 

Darn... and I should know better too! Thats what I get for beleiving the Radio :)

 

One thing in this bills favor.. BOTH Parties have made removal of this fee part of their platform.

 

Another thing, unless the bill has an "Emergency Clause" it wouldn't take effect until 90 days after the end of the session in which it is ratified.

Edited by Right Wing Wacko
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Linky #2 (Hope it works) WOO HOO! It's about time! It definately cuts down on the amount of visitors to some really great spots in our state, as well as cache owners seeing a decline in 'found it' counts. Its definately a deterent. Has detered me from a few finds. Why pay $5 to find a cache, when there are plenty of others out there for free. Edited by -Hawk-
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It never bothered me one way or the other. If I paid to park, I also paid attention to the amenities, the view, the ambience. In essence, I slowed down to enjoy what the park had to offer. I might not have been so inclined when I might do a dash and grab when parking for free. Of course, I became even more choosey about when and where I went caching as time allowed.

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One question I have is: How is that revenue replaced? I mean, I will LOVE not having to pay that annual fee again, but does not having that fee mean that more parks will close, or have reduced amenities? Wasn't the reason the fee was started in the first place to help keep the parks afloat. Has something changed in the budjet in Olympia?

 

I saw on another forum that the funds will come out of the large surplus we have now. I'd like to know how we end up with a 1.3 bil surplus when a few years ago all you saw in the paper and the news was how our state was going down the toilet because the vehicle tabs were reduced to a ficticious $30. Then many parks were shut down and there was no money!.....They all seem to be reopened now and we have a surplus.......makes me want to go hmmmmmm.

 

Another good post I saw was why not make it a volunteer payment. The collection boxes are all there and the ones that feel all fuzzy about paying to use our public lands can continue to pay. The state will still get some money and everyone will be happy. I really don't mind paying if I'm going to be there for any length of time, but the run in and eat lunch or quick couple geocaches just doesn't cut it.

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The problem is as told to me by a park ranger. They started charging the fees because the money allocated to the parks was being redirected to other areas the goverment wanted to use it. There is still no way to keep them from dipping into the fees we are charged to go to their pet projects either. It is just a way of getting more money out of us. If I knew that the money would be used for it's intended purpose I wouldn't mind. But as it is the government can access the monies for what they want and our roads, schools, and parks can go wanting because of this.

Edited by Patudles
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The problem is as told to me by a park ranger. They started charging the fees because the money allocated to the parks was being redirected to other areas the goverment wanted to use it. There is still no way to keep them from dipping into the fees we are charged to go to their pet projects either. It is just a way of getting more money out of us. If I knew that the money would be used for it's intended purpose I wouldn't mind. But as it is the government can access the monies for what they want and our roads, schools, and parks can go wanting because of this.

 

Kind of like the big seller for the state lottery was how wonderful it would for the education budget? :D

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OLYMPIA — A Senate committee chairman (Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle) on Thursday killed a popular House bill to remove the $5 day-use parking fee from state parks.

 

But the livid House sponsor — powerful Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, a fellow Democrat — vowed to revive the fee repeal as part of the upcoming budget talks. Both House and Senate budget chairwomen and Gov. Christine Gregoire have endorsed the idea of ending the unpopular three-year-old park fee.

 

Sad... the bill was very popular and would have passed easily, but ONE person with power is able to kill it :D

 

The Full Article

Edited by Right Wing Wacko
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OLYMPIA — A Senate committee chairman (Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle) on Thursday killed a popular House bill to remove the $5 day-use parking fee from state parks.

 

But the livid House sponsor — powerful Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, a fellow Democrat — vowed to revive the fee repeal as part of the upcoming budget talks. Both House and Senate budget chairwomen and Gov. Christine Gregoire have endorsed the idea of ending the unpopular three-year-old park fee.

 

Sad... the bill was very popular and would have passed easily, but ONE person with power is able to kill it :D

 

The Full Article

Bleep! Oh well, I'll just park outside the gate. Let's hope the revival plan works.

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The Senate adopted an amended version of the bill yesterday. From what I can tell, the Senate added a provision that the Parks Commission could adopt fees if its biennial budget is reduced from the previous biennium's appropriation. It looks like they also declared an emergency and set the effective date as April 9, 2006.

 

With these changes, identical language will need to be adopted in the House by Friday, which is the close of the regular session.

 

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.as...=2416&year=2006

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The Senate adopted an amended version of the bill yesterday. From what I can tell, the Senate added a provision that the Parks Commission could adopt fees if its biennial budget is reduced from the previous biennium's appropriation.

 

Certainly can't wait for free access again, I haven't been in a state park for $$$ since they instituted the fees a few years ago, and won't return until they take the fees off. Glad to see the numbers proving people voted with their wallets and stayed away from 'many' parks.

 

My gripe personally is the myriad of fees to use things around here. State parks, NW Forest passes, Federal park passes, and the fishing area permits. If there was one good for the whole state, then I might go for it.

 

On the idle speculation front, wouldn't it be nice if you got a free access to the parks by buying the new State Park license plate (link)

Edited by vds
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Yesterday the Senate receded from its funding contingency amendment, but kept the emergency effective date of 4/9/06. The House agreed to that change, so the bill is now ready for Governor Gregoire's signature.

 

Yay!!! I'm hoping this happens. I don't quite understand how this can be considered "An Emergency", as it seems to be an abuse of that power but then again... maybe I'm just a Right Wing Wacko [:P]

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Yesterday the Senate receded from its funding contingency amendment, but kept the emergency effective date of 4/9/06. The House agreed to that change, so the bill is now ready for Governor Gregoire's signature.

 

Yay!!! I'm hoping this happens. I don't quite understand how this can be considered "An Emergency", as it seems to be an abuse of that power but then again... maybe I'm just a Right Wing Wacko [:P]

 

Noooooo :)

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Yesterday the Senate receded from its funding contingency amendment, but kept the emergency effective date of 4/9/06. The House agreed to that change, so the bill is now ready for Governor Gregoire's signature.

 

Read the last amendment how they are going to allow individuals and companies to lease undeveloped park lands for grazing, agriculture, or mining. Hey, I have 3 caches by Index in some undeveloped park land. Since I've established a "presense" I should be able to lease that land for the next 40 years!.....BLM rents grazing land for $1 per ac in E.WA. Sounds like a fair price!...... :laughing: Would make for a great private camping spot.

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Read the last amendment how they are going to allow individuals and companies to lease undeveloped park lands for grazing, agriculture, or mining.

Just so no one gets too upset, that provision has been in the statute for years - it's not new.

 

As to RWW's question about the "emergency" declaration, well, yeah. The courts have basically said that's a political determination for the Legislature to make; the courts won't touch it. It ends up being a way for the Legislature to foreclose a referendum, since that's what the 90-day period is for. It would stand to reason that a right wing wacko would have no problem with side-stepping that Progressive-era invention. As a non-right wing wacko, I know I don't. :anicute: (Now, whether initiative and referendum can still be considered "progressive" tools is somewhat open to debate...)

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Read the last amendment how they are going to allow individuals and companies to lease undeveloped park lands for grazing, agriculture, or mining.

Just so no one gets too upset, that provision has been in the statute for years - it's not new.

 

 

Then why would a last minute amendment be tacked on? Darn, I was hoping I could "rent" me a nice chunk of Forks on the Sky state park!..... :anicute:

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The fee repeal takes affect on April 19 (I think), but many rangers are saying that they'll stop collecting right away.

If the date turns out to be accurate, I find it interesting that the fee continues through spring break. Hopefully most will stop collecting right away. Happy to see that this finally made it.

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Ok, first let me say, I'm as happy as everyone else to see the parking fee go away.

However, there are some things I'll miss...

Before the fee, many times I was unable to find a spot, and had to park along the shoulder of the road near the parking lot. After the parking fee, no problem, (I have a yearly pass) the lots were empty, one or two cars at the most. The shoulder of the road that I used to use, when I couldn't find a place, was now posted "No Parking" to prevent people from avoiding the fee. Theft and vandilism seemed to be down too because the ranger comes by more often to collect the fees and write tickets.

Now that all the overflow spots are posted "No Parking" I'm not sure where I'll go when things fill up but I'll figure something out.

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From the March 22 edition of the Spokesman Review, page B1:

 

Olympia

 

Rangers told to stop enforcing parking fees

 

Heading to a state park this weekend? Ready to dutifully plunk your envelope with the $5 parking fee into the metal can?

 

Stop right there. Put that fiver back into your wallet.

 

Even though a new state law eliminating the fees doesn't take effect until April 9, state parks official have decided to stop ticketing people who don't pay the fee.

 

"The rangers have been directed not to enforce the parking fees. And they're starting to take the signs down," said Linda Burnett, a public information officer for the state Parks and Recreation Commission.

 

The commission and state parks director Rex Derr felt that it wouldn't be in the spirit of the new law to keep handing out $128 tickets to people who don't pay the fee during the remaining few weeks, she said.

 

The park system will lose about $3.4 million this year in parking fees. To make up for that, lawmakers recently allocated $3.1 million - and vowed to come up with a stable, long term source of maintenance money next year.

 

Anyone who bought a $50 annual permit will be reimbursed $4.16 per unused month, she said.

 

-Richard Roesler

 

:end of article

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Yay! I can visit West Hylebos at lunch again!

 

(Until now, it was Federal Way's Celebration Park for free, or Hylebos for $5. Easy choice.)

 

Bah. Visited it today for the first time since fees went into effect. Know what I found?

 

"West Hylebos is no longer owned or operated by Washington State Parks. Ownership of the park was transferred to the City of Federal Way in 2004."

 

Turns out, the fees chased me out of a free park. :unsure:

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Yay! I can visit West Hylebos at lunch again!

 

(Until now, it was Federal Way's Celebration Park for free, or Hylebos for $5. Easy choice.)

 

Bah. Visited it today for the first time since fees went into effect. Know what I found?

 

"West Hylebos is no longer owned or operated by Washington State Parks. Ownership of the park was transferred to the City of Federal Way in 2004."

 

Turns out, the fees chased me out of a free park. :huh:

 

I was under the impression they they did not bother to enforce the fees since it only went to the general fund so there was no point in it for individual park rangers. I have a pass but I often had it on the wrong car so I just parked anyway and was never bothered but maybe it's because the State Parks I usually went to were quite rural such as Potlach.

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