BILL REQ. #:  S-2671.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2013 Regular Session

By Senate Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Roach, Hill, Holmquist Newbry, Hargrove, Becker, Sheldon, Bailey, Eide, Pearson, Brown, Baumgartner, Harper, Braun, Hasegawa, Rivers, Nelson, Schoesler, Shin, Keiser, Ericksen, Billig, Parlette, Conway, Honeyford, and Fraser)

READ FIRST TIME 04/19/13.   

     AN ACT Relating to maintaining access to state recreational lands managed by the department of natural resources; and creating new sections.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that maintaining access to the state's public lands is vital to preserving the many recreational and health benefits those lands provide to the citizens of the state. State lands provide an innumerable number of valuable recreational opportunities including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, off-road vehicle use, and wildlife viewing. In turn, these recreational opportunities generate economic benefits for the communities surrounding those lands.
     (2) The legislature finds that one way to help maintain recreational access to state lands is to ensure state agencies have the tools to provide an adequate law enforcement presence on those lands. As the largest state agency recreational land manager, the department of natural resources holds approximately three million acres of uplands managed to benefit public institutions, such as common schools, and counties, as well as a number of preserves and conservation areas. The legislature intends to provide the department of natural resources with additional resources to increase the number of officers protecting the state's natural resources and ensuring safe recreation on state lands, which in turn will help stem the need for recreational area closures.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   (1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the department of natural resources must increase the number of officers protecting the state's natural resources and ensuring safe recreation on department-managed lands. With this additional enforcement presence, the department must undertake efforts to achieve the maintenance of, and if possible an increase in, access to and recreational opportunities on department-managed lands.
     (2) During the 2013-2015 fiscal biennium, the department must maintain access to department-managed lands and may not close any recreation area except for the reasons cited in RCW 79.10.125.

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