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WTA Hiker Lobby Day was a great success

Posted by Kindra at Feb 04, 2010 03:00 PM |

Thank You Hiker-Lobbyists!

Roughly 75 people came to Olympia yesterday to talk with their elected officials about restoring funding to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the effort was a huge success!

2010 Lobby Day group shot

It is too early to tell if DNR’s funding will indeed be restored, but many of the legislators were struck by the message that restoring a mere $278,000 (less than .01% of the deficit) would have a large benefit to the many hikers, families and communities that use DNR lands as a close-to-home recreation opportunity. Equally important was the fact that many legislators did not realize that Mt. Si was managed by DNR or that it (and many other great places) are in real danger of being closed.

The fact that constituents were able to raise awareness about DNR will go a long way towards getting funding restored.

In addition to raising awareness among lawmakers, it was great to watch WTA’s supporters turn into budding activists. Many folks were nervous about meeting with their representatives, but as the day went on people’s confidence grew. It started small with some great questions to the morning’s guest speaker, Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, who gave an inspiring speech.

By the end of the day folks were offering copies of Washington Trails magazine to their representatives and encouraging them not only to support restoring DNR’s funding but also to join WTA!

“I had no idea how easy it was to meet with my representative,” remarked one of our lobby day participants yesterday afternoon. And several of our first timers have already committed to coming back next year. There is a rush and feeling of satisfaction to being an active part of the democratic process.

If you didn’t get to experience this firsthand yesterday, you can still be a part of WTA’s efforts to save DNR lands. Call the Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000 today and urge your state representatives to restore DNR's recreation funding in the 2010 supplemental budget.


WTA Lobby Day, Blanchard Mountain

I will add some comments to Kinda's report. I live in Anacortes and fall in the 40th district. Along with DNR's funding problems, I was interested in the fate of Blanchard Mountain which is DNR land.

I was able to speak personnally with Representative Dave Quall. Additionally, I spoke with Ann Larson, Senator Ranker's assistant and Caron Benedetti, Representative Morris' assistant.

Representative Quall was wonderful and we had a great 20 minute conversation. He stated that he had been asked to hike Blanchard Mountain several times and that he would take a greater interest in the issues surrounding the logging of Blanchard Mtn. He said that he was concerned about the funding issues DNR is having.

Both legistative assistants took notes of my concerns, gave me their business cards, and stated that they would arrange a personal meeting with Representative Morris and Senator Ranker when they were in Anacortes. All I need to do is email them.

For those that live in the region around the Blanchard and Chuckanut Mountains or enjoy hiking Blanchard Mtn, I urge you to email your Representatives and Senators and tell them that you are opposed to the logging of Blanchard Mountain. The only thing preventing the logging right now is a Court Order stopping the logging. This Court Order is under appeal by DNR as verified by Peter Goldmark when I asked him.

The trail to Oyster Dome goes up the west side of Blanchard Mtn. There are several trip reports filed every year on this hike. Additionally, trails up the east side of the mountain are used by mountain bikers and horseman. Our newly designated National Trail, The Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) runs up the west side, across the upper sections, and down the northeast side. No fee camp sites are available at both Lilly and Lizard lake. These are the only legal/approved back-country campsites in the Blanchard and Chuckanut Mountains.

For more info, just google Blanchard Mountain and you will find websites both for and opposed to the logging.

I considered the day a great time and well worth the time I spent. Just giving Kindra and Jonathon a hard time all day was a lot of fun!


Posted by:

Marty; Have saw, will travel. on Feb 08, 2010 07:38 PM