H-2988.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 2294



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By Representatives Hatfield, Doumit, Kessler, Eickmeyer, Lantz, Rockefeller, Wood, Mielke, Boldt, Benson, Edwards, Upthegrove and Dunn


Read first time 01/14/2002.  Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.

Allowing the department of natural resources to seek volunteers to maintain recreation sites.

    AN ACT Relating to recreation sites owned by the department of natural resources; and adding new sections to chapter 43.30 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 43.30 RCW to read as follows:

     (1) The legislature recognizes that the department of natural resources makes recreation sites available to the public and that many of these sites are primitive in nature.  The legislature finds that the department lacks the necessary staff and money to maintain these recreation sites despite their primitive nature, and that a number of these recreation sites are at risk of closing.  The legislature also finds that the state adopt-a-highway program under the department of transportation has been successful in attracting volunteers to help keep the roadsides clean.  The legislature finds that by providing expanded opportunities for participation by volunteers at recreation sites operated by the department of natural resources, the state will save money and be able to keep some recreation sites open that would otherwise close, and there will be expanded community service opportunities for youth groups, other civic organizations, and businesses.

    (2) The department of natural resources shall conduct a periodic review of all of its recreation sites.  The review shall include an examination of the location of the recreation sites and a determination of the costs associated with the recreation sites.  The initial review of its recreation sites shall be completed by December 1, 2002.  If a recreation site is determined by the department as appropriate to keep open but the site is being considered for closure due to insufficient funds, before the department may close the recreation site it must hold a public meeting in the general vicinity of the recreation site to determine whether there are sufficient volunteers available on an ongoing basis to justify keeping the recreation site open.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 43.30 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The department shall seek partnerships with volunteer groups and businesses to establish a recreation site volunteer program to facilitate the goals of this section and section 1 of this act.  The department may solicit funding for a recreation site volunteer program and allow private entities to undertake all or a portion of financing for the initiatives.  The department shall develop guidelines regarding labor, cash, and in-kind contributions to be performed by volunteers.

    (2) The department of natural resources may enter into agreements with other state agencies, units of local government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to perform necessary maintenance and repair of recreation sites, and to coordinate volunteers working at these recreation sites.

    (3) The department shall develop a standardized application form, registration form, and contractual agreement for all participating groups.  The department shall develop guidelines for:  The minimum age of participants, the minimum ratio of adult supervisors for different size groups of minors, any requisite safety training or safety equipment, the maintaining of records of any accidents or injuries that occur, and anything else deemed necessary to implement this program.  The department shall require parental consent for participation of all minors.

    (4) A volunteer group or business interested in participating in a recreation site volunteer program must submit a proposal to the department.  The department shall review the proposal for consistency with its policies and guidelines.  The department may accept, reject, or propose a modification to the proposed application.

    (5) A volunteer performing any authorized or assigned work at a recreation site is considered a state employee for the purpose of receiving medical aid benefits under chapter 51.36 RCW, and the department shall pay any and all premiums or assessments under RCW 51.12.035 to secure these benefits.  A participating business must pay all employer premiums and assessments required under chapter 51.36 RCW to secure medical aid for all employees or agents participating in the program.

    (6) Nothing in this section or section 1 of this act creates any right of appeal under chapter 34.05 RCW regarding the closure of a recreation site.


                            --- END ---