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Old 10-10-2011, 06:10 PM
Merrick Graves's Avatar
Merrick Graves Merrick Graves is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Naches
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I did post a responce shortly after your orginal post. I deleted it for a couple of reasons.

First off I think our lawmakers stuck something somewhere where the sun does not shine. In fact I think this whole bill came out of where they stuck their something. It is/was clear that no one gave this any thought other than a way to collect money (kinda like how they how much thought they put into stealing Nova/OHV funds). Well with no thought they did it again.

1st problem was a $30 pass that cost $35. Even the author of the bill does not agree that was the way he meant it to be.

2nd problem was the single vehicle per pass idea. I understand they did intend it to be that way from the start. However I think they could of authored the bill and modified it later to the single vehicle per pass after the public had a chance to recover from the idea of pay to play.

3rd problem is we as a wheeling community do not support the split. 8%/8%/84% somehow to me still does not seem like a fair split. State parks get the majority.

Those are my main gripes about this. I have others.

I have also seen some of how this is working for the state. Most of the parking is taking place outside of the state parks that I often drive past (fee avoiders). I have also read that where it is impractical to park outside of the park that the park use is down in a major percentage. One park reports 50% less atendence. I work in the forest where there is a checkerboard of land owners. Where a pass is required we have fee avoiders parking (off DNR/WFDW land) so they do not need a pass. I also have people who try to use their Discover Pass on the National Forest (it's not valid on National Forest). After giving an earful they reluctantly pay the required fee.

One also cannot get consistant answers as to if and where a pass is required. Where I work it is required that a certain level of conviences be offered before a fee can be inposed. The state seems to think that just because you are there you are subject to the fee.

You say this fee is here to stay. I seem to remember the same thing was said about an entrance/parking fee imposed a few years ago at state parks. One season later the fee was resinded. Attendence drop and flak about already paying enough thru existing taxes caused the lawmakers to rethink.

I have yet to of met a person who thinks this is/was a logical way to solve the states problems.

I have an idea that probably would not be to popular. That is resind this fee and carry the collection over to my state property taxes. Us a dedicated fund that could not be used anyhow else. And make the split more equatable or make it a grant process.
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