BILL REQ. #: S-2671.1
|State of Washington||63rd Legislature||2013 Regular Session|
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.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
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.