Nationalize our state parks
November 22, 2011 · Updated 12:14 PM
Voters of our state have, through the initiative process, made it practically impossible for the Legislature to raise revenue to support Washington State Parks. Vehicle user fees did not work last time it was tried. The cost of enforcement was too much and people parked outside of many parks, causing local law enforcement projects.
The new Discover Pass fees will have an impact on some of our state’s most historic and unique state parks and the tourist business in nearby areas, including Fort Worden and the nearby Port Townsend community.
Back in 1972, California Congressman Phillip Burton proposed legislation to establish the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This national park until now includes the Presidio, Fort Mason, Alcatraz Island, the Cliff House, Fort Cronkite, Fort Barry, the Muit Woods, etc. Why can’t this model be used in Washington?
Ebey Prairie National Historical Reserve on Whidbey Island was established by Congress in 1978. It is a nontraditional NPS unit managed by a local nine member trust board. Two state parks, Fort Casey and Fort Ebey, are within the boundaries of the reserve.
The people of Washington apparently will not support state parks by taxes, therefore, maybe ownership of our historic Puget Sound parks should go back to the federal government so they could become part of a Puget Sound National Historic Area. The parks on the Olympic Peninsula are in the district of Congressman Norm Dicks and those on Whidbey Island in Congressman Rick Larsen’s district.
Can they coordinate with State Parks Administration and then co-sponsor legislation to create such a national historical area?