September 10, 2010
I hope you enjoyed your summer and had time to get outside and enjoy Washington’s great outdoors. I wanted to update you on some key activities happening this fall with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation Program.
Tell us what you think: DNR Forum to focus on recreation issues Sept. 13-17
All next week, DNR is hosting an online forum to get your views about recreation on DNR-managed lands. Each day, we’ll post a new “conversation starter” that address issues related to recreation: how you like to recreate on DNR-managed lands; education, enforcement and safety; funding; and planning. Friday’s conversation starter will be based on what themes emerge as the week unfolds.
I hope you will participate in the forum. Your input will be valuable for a number of reasons:
· Share ideas and perspectives with fellow recreation enthusiasts.
· Help DNR’s Recreation Program identify issues or concerns that we are not aware of.
· Help shape the Recreation Program’s 2011-2013 Legislative package and budget request.
· Provide us with additional information to help identify future needs. (See the following section about the Joint Transportation Committee.)
The Forum takes place online through DNR’s website, and you can participate and post comments from the comfort of your own computer any time of day. NOTE: The Forum opens at 8 a.m., Monday, September 13 and closes at 5 p.m., Friday, September 17.
For more information on the DNR Forum on Recreation, visit our blog posting at: http://bit.ly/c2yvHi
To see an example of how the online Forum works, check out the Forum we did on geoduck aquaculture last May.
Joint Transportation Committee review of fuel tax refunds
As I mentioned in previous email messages, I am representing DNR on the Joint Transportation Committee’s review of the fuel tax refunds for non-highway or off-road use of gasoline and diesel fuel. To date, we’ve completed the following two tasks to provide more information about DNR’s Recreation Program.
· An overview of DNR’s off-road program: www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/amp_rec_jtc_review_task1_07_2010.pdf
· An analysis of the Recreation Program’s historical funding and expenditures: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/amp_rec_jtc_review_task3_08_2010.pdf
The last task we are working on is to identify future off-road, snowmobile and marine funding needs. We really need your help on this task. Here are the ways you can get the information on future needs to us:
· Work with statewide user organizations to develop a comprehensive look at future needs. (Some of the recreation organizations include Pacific Northwest 4×4; Washington Trails Association, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington (BCHW); Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance; Washington State Snowmobile Association; Washington Water Trails Association; and the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Association) As an example, BCHW has compiled a comprehensive list of future needs, which is attached to this message.
· Participate in our online forum next week.
· Send me an email with your input at firstname.lastname@example.org. (It would make my life easier if you could use the format developed by the BCHW.)
2011-2013 Recreation Legislative and Budget request
Later this month, I should be able to share with you two pieces of recreation-related legislation that DNR is requesting this year. We are working closely with other resource agencies to put together a comprehensive legislative package that provides some of the reform measures that you have been requesting for years. In addition, I will share with you the recreation budget we will submit to the Governor. I look forward to hearing your feedback on these.
National Public Lands Day — September 25
Once again, DNR will be celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) at several locations. In Forks, our staff will be co-hosting an evening volunteer recruitment in partnership with staff from the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park on Friday, September 24—the day before NPLD. On September 25, DNR will host work parties. Check our Facebook page for a list of events.(You don’t need a Facebook account!) I hope that many of you will consider volunteering on this day to help make a difference on state lands.
Reiter Foothills Forest Update
Thanks to the help of volunteers from the off-road community, DNR has made steady progress laying out proposed motorized trails in Reiter Foothills Forest. At this time, we have the trails roughed out and are now working on the design, county permits, and preparing for the review process under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The final mileage may vary, but to date, here’s what we’ve roughed out:
· 18.6 miles of single-track trails plus several areas for trailers.
· 8.6 miles of trunk (single and ATV) trails.
· 10 miles of 4×4 trails.
Developing these proposed trails has involved a lot of work—both in the field and on the “drafting table.” The people involved—volunteers and staff—are getting excited about how this project is turning out. We plan to provide the public with an opportunity to walk the proposed trails later on this fall. I will get back to you with an exact date.
Fall / season closures reminders
With the coming of fall, some of our recreation areas will close for the season. As a reminder, you can check the status of our recreation areas at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation. Also, we update this information through our blog at: http://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/
Mark R. Mauren
Assistant Division Manager
Recreation, Public Access and WCC Programs
Asset Management and Recreation Division
Washington State Department of Natural Resources