State Current Legislation in Washington House and Senate to Watch!  There are a number of bills presented at this early stage in the legislature.  Here are a couple to review that are pending.

 

SB 5026:  Damage to Livestock.

Provides compensation for livestock damaged by the state’s wildlife.  Currently referred to Parks, Fish and Wildlife for review.  Livestock means horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, swine and ratites.  Directs risk management to office of financial management to develop procedures to verify loss, and provide compensation to people who have livestock damaged by wildlife.  The Division of Risk Management must ensure people receive full value for damaged stock.  Full value so far will equal sold @slaughter or sold at public livestock market.

            Status:  referred to Parks committee

 

Several Variations of Bills on the State Evergreen Recreational Pass

SB 5111, SB 5143 

  Creation of a single renewable annual pass.  The Interagency Committee on Outdoor Recreation  (IAC) must develop an evergreen recreation pass that can be used in place of parking fees charged at parking, day use, trail head, or primitive overnight camping sites owned by the State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife beginning 1/1/2004.  The evergreen pass is to be required for the use of any DNR parking, day-use, trail head, or primitive overnight camping. 

            The initial cost may not exceed $35.00 for residents or $65.00 for nonresidents.  A deluxe pass that also includes access to boat launches may not exceed $50.00 or residents or $95.00 for non-residents.  The IAC may develop premium passes that combine additional licenses and services that may include camping, boat moorage, hunting and fishing. 

            80% of the net proceeds must be deposited in the State Parks Renewal and Stewardship Account until June 30, 2007, or until $15 million is deposited into the account.  All other net proceeds must be deposited in the Evergreen Recreation Account to be used to support the recreation programs of the State Parks and Recreation.

            Agencies participating in the evergreen recreation pass are authorized to enter into agreements with federal agencies and neighboring states to develop a regional recreation pass.  Agencies are required to develop a proposal for a joint state and federal recreation pass by December 1,2004, and report their findings to the Legislature. 

            Appropriation of $450,000 was requested on January 16.2003 for the fiscal year ending 6/30/2003.

Status:  referred to Parks committee.

           

SB 5112  Outdoor Evergreen

Recreation Account, addresses required use of funds. 

            This bill addresses that the creation of a single pass may result in more people visiting recreation sites, and the need to make more funds available for facilities.

The WWRP (Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program) was created in 1990 to acquire lands for wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation, and to develop existing recreation lands and facilities.  Legislative appropriations are divided into seven categories:  local parks, state parks, trail/water access, critical habitat, natural areas, an urban wildlife habitat.  Within each category, state and/or local agencies compete for available grant funds.  Since 1990, the Legislature has appropriated $362 million for the WWFP. 

            State parks are allocated 12.5 percent of any WWRP appropriation.  Of these funds, at least 75 % must be used by the State Parks and Recreation Commission for acquisition costs with the remainder to be used for park development.  “Development  is defined in the rule as the construction of facilities to enhance outdoor recreation resources. 

            This bill would change the allocation of funds to at least 50% of the funds for acquisition, and up to 50% now for park development.(an increase of up to 25%) 

No appropriation required, so this bill may be moving forward.

            submitted by Patti Wible-Crouch, State Legislative Chair

            If you have any issues you would like to submit, or report related to legislation please contact me @flyingpigranch@charter.net.