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  #1  
Old 07-07-2009, 09:18 AM
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Default Tree Huggers want NOVA funds restored

http://www.wta.org/trail-news/news/w...ds-campgrounds
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WA DNR Cuts Services at Trailheads, Campgrounds

If you had a dollar for everyone who hiked at Tiger Mountain this year, you’d have more money than the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has to manage all of its trails and campgrounds. The agency is grappling with a 60 percent cut to their general fund budget and the diversion of $1.5 million in grants from the Non Highway and Off Road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) funds to Washington State Parks. That leaves them with a mere $200,000 a year to maintain 33 recreation facilities and 167 miles of trails.


Sign at Tiger Mountain, on Washington State Department of Natural Resources Land. DNR has proposed cuts in services to campgrounds and trailheads in an effort to deal with a 60 percent cut in its annual budget.

Yesterday, DNR released a list of service reductions intended to address that budget shortfall. Through a combination of facility closures (toilets, picnic tables and garbage cans), seasonal closures and reduced maintenance at a number of sites, DNR hopes to keep their recreation program in the black, although they warn that further cuts are likely.

Unfortunately, it’s the landscape that will suffer. One result of these closures will be resource damage. As we’ve seen in the Reiter foothills—DNR land in Snohomish County—leaving forests open to recreation without attendant management can lead to serious damage and law enforcement problems, including deeply silted streams, rutted off-trail routes, debarked trees and extensive dumping. In the case of Reiter, these abuses have bled into surrounding public lands as ORV users have ridden in adjacent State Parks.

All this tells us that the legislature must do for DNR what they did for State Parks—find dedicated, reliable funding so that this agency does not have to go begging year after year. And one major component of any stable funding system is a diversity of revenue sources. NOVA funds must be restored in the next biennial budget, so that agencies like DNR can add those grants back to their funding mix. And, while we understand that State Parks may need these funds for the short term, if the new opt-in fee brings in sufficient revenue, the NOVA program should be restored during the next legislative session.

For more information on DNR funding and how you can help influence your state legislator, contact Jonathan Guzzo at (206)625-1367 or by e-mail at jonathan@wta.org.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:44 PM
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Do I sense a reversal here?! I thought these were the folks wanted NOVA to keep the parks open, or was I miss leadirtDOG:
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:03 PM
Art Waugh Art Waugh is offline
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Oh, now they holler dedicated funding, thought that's what it was back before they stole it. Kind of what they keep trying down here.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:28 PM
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Yup, them white boys speak with forked tongue alright
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:03 PM
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Funny how they whine when their tactics backfire... kind of reminiscent of North Fork... Someone once said " Be Careful what you wish for"
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