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Happy Birthday State Parks! Let's Hope This Budget Doesn't Kill You

Flickr Photo/Flickstorage

It’s the 100th birthday of Washington's state park system, but it may not be a happy one. Washington’s parks started off this year with zero dollars from the state. While both the Senate and House budget proposals give more than $15 million to our state parks, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission says under the Senate’s budget the doors to some state parks will likely close.

The Discover Pass — an annual user fee — was supposed to transition parks to a self-sustaining model, but not enough people are buying. The pass has brought in under half of the original projections and parks commission Chairman Rodger Schmitt says they’ve already cut all the fat off parks, and they’re working on a shoestring. What do the parks need to survive and is it possible? Ross Reynolds sits down with Rodger Schmitt to talk about the politics and prospects of funding state parks.