I appreciate the input I received from many of you regarding reduced services at some of DNR’s recreation sites. I understand, appreciate, and share your frustration.
Unfortunately, this week we began reducing services at many of our facilities. You will find the list of these sites, their legislative district, cost savings information, and a timeline on DNR’s Web site at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/a...ces_063009.pdf
You can also download a map showing the affected sites at:
(1.9 MB PDF file)
(1.9 MB JPG file)
The hard truth is that we can no longer support all our facilities and trails with our current budget. Our new fiscal year begins July 1, and we need to take immediate action and cut back on services in some areas or run the risk of compounding the budget shortfall later this year.
Reduced services will include removing outhouses or nailing doors shut and removing picnic tables, garbage cans, and signs. Some sites that were open year round will now only be open seasonally. In other areas, we are able to keep from reducing services thanks to donations of volunteer time and money from user groups.
Many of you have offered ideas on how to keep these facilities operating. These suggestions reflect how deeply you are committed to working with us to ensure that recreational opportunities are available in this state. We want to continue the dialog with you and look into ways to continue to provide facilities at our recreation areas.
Public lands still open to the public
You may have noticed by now that I am no longer using the term “closure,” except in terms of seasonal closures. Even though we are reducing services or no longer providing services of any kind at some sites, these public lands are still open to the public for recreation. We ask that you pack-out whatever you pack-in and observe other principles of outdoor stewardship such as Leave No Trace. (http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php
Also, be aware that gated areas may be locked, and the only way into a site will be on foot.
More cuts expected
This list of reduced services is just an initial step. Many of us here at DNR believe that we will need to make further reductions later this summer or in the fall. As always, we will be tracking our budget closely.
In my next e-mail message, I will outline what it takes to manage and maintain a recreation site, facility, and trail. My hope is that by providing you with this information, we can continue the discussion on how all of us, collectively, can come up with the necessary resources to prevent further reductions in services.
Thanks for your concern and understanding.
You can help
If you witness any abuse to resources, vandalism, or illegal dumping on DNR-managed lands, please report these incidents. Be sure to note any license plate numbers and get a description of any vehicles involved. If the matter doesn’t require an immediate law enforcement response or for after hours and on weekends call 800-562-6010. Otherwise, call 911. You can also call the regional offices directly for non-emergencies. A list of phone numbers is at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/AboutDNR/Regio...s/Default.aspx
Assistant Division Manager
Asset Management and Recreation Division
Washington State Department of Natural Resources