Losing access to Puget Sound beaches

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Chester Allen, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. This horrible economy is shutting the door on a lot of public beaches -- sea-run cutthroat spots -- in South Puget Sound.
    Thurston County is shutting down its parks department entirely, and that means closed gates at Frye Cove Park and Burfoot Park. The county says it won't hassle people who walk in, but parking is a big problem, as is vandalism and who knows what else.
    Washington State Parks -- which is facing a huge, 25-percent budget cut -- has announced it may close these parks with Puget Sound beach access:
    Tolmie State Park
    Kopachuck State Park
    Jarrell Cove State Park
    Dash Point State Park
    Potlatch State Park
    The complete list can be found at http://www.parks.wa.gov/current.asp
    The list is a disaster for all anglers and people who love the outdoors.
    I write all this because I'm hoping that Washington Westfly people will write or call their legislators and maybe check the $5 donation box when renewing their license tabs.

    I've been writing a lot about this in my column at The Olympian newspaper, and I'm about to crank up a campaign on my blog, which is watermagic.typepad.com
     
  2. Get ready for their play towards a state income tax................
     
  3. Yeah, I heard that a lot of the State Parks are closing up for now. It really sucks. Bummer is that Washington Trails Association is basically rolling over, too. No backbone at all. I'm pretty sure you can still use the parks, but you'll you can't use any of the services like parking lots and restrooms. I know I will continue to go to my favorite parks.
    -Ethan
     
  4. What stand is the Washington Trails Association taking Ethan? Thanks.
     
  5. Basically a "c'est la vie" approach. Voicing a little bit of disapproval, but not really making an effort to fight it. I suppose the shouldn't spend to much resources on it, though. They should reopen if the budget allows at the end of the biennial.
    -Ethan
     

  6. Yeah, it is a shame. I get tired of people, (and I’ll blame the right-wing conservatives), always quacking negatively about “big government” when they forget about the good services that people need and what they use as well such as parks, etc. So, because parks always take it in the shorts when there are budget cuts, they end up hanging by a thread, and now we have this. SORRY CLOSED. :beathead:
     
  7. Busted!!
     
  8. Ugh. That really sucks. It says re the definition of mothballed that rangers would not cite those who enter on foot - I guess Jarrell Cove would be fine to dock up for a bit and take a leak and so on... wonder if they'll still have the mooring buoys, hm, I wonder if they would pull out the dock there as part of the mothballing? Really sucks... sucks.
     
  9. We're talking about state parks, have you forgotten who has been in charge of the state budget for the past 5 years? It hasn't been "right wing conservatives". The state budget has been growing non stop for the past 4 years, now tax revenue can't keep up. It was bound to happen and our reps knew it. If you want to blame anyone blame those who are running the show.
     
  10. Alpine -- the perils of cut-and-paste have hit me again!
    Nonetheless, this whole deal really isn't about who is in power in Olympia or political philosophy -- at least in my mind.
    What I see is a small agency facing a 25 percent cut -- a much steeper cut than other, larger agencies. I see an agency that provides one of the main portals to Puget Sound beach access. I see an agency that provides super-cheap access to the outdoors and camping spots.
    The issue is not a state income tax -- that will not happen this session and in this economy. The real issue is, at this point, whether people are willing to check a $5 box on their license tab renewals to keep some or all of these parks open.
    Five bucks a year is a bargain. I hate to think of what will happen to those parks if no rangers are on station. Even if we can find a streetside parking space and walk in to the beach, what will we find?
    By the way, I don't work for Parks or any other government agency.
     
  11. Chester- I agree with much of what you say. I stand by my above post, however the real issue is with all politicians and how they set priorities. On all levels they rob Peter to pay Paul so long as Paul can get them more votes or donations.

    I hate the concept of paying $5 for parks for the simple reason that it feels like I'm enabling irresponsible government. We know what will happen; they'll see this as an approval of their actions and feel free to fund other programs in this same manner. Meanwhile spending won't slow down. Having said that I'll pay my $5 because I'm a big sissy.
     
  12. $5.00, $5.00, $5.00
    State land is state land the parks belong to the people of the state.
    When are we the people willing to stand up and say "hell no" you can't close our parks.
    When are we the people going to take charge.
    State income tax is O.K. Sales tax is O.K. The people we vote into office spend it on WTF ever.
    I pay to use the parks, drop my launch fee in the box, camping fee in the box and the moneys go to some other crying towel org. that doesn't bring in any income to support itself.
    One little boat launch or beach when the rest of the lake/river/sound is privately owned is BS!!!!!
    We pay for our fishing lic. that should keep the parking lot open, Hell I'll even pay to park or use the shitters.
    I hate to see the park personal loose their jobs but the parks should stay open. Just my .02
     
  13. There are a lot of petitions going around right now.

    At the Gig Harbor Fly Shop we have a postcard petition asking for park funding to be "opt-out" instead of "opt-in". Meaning, instead of having to intentionally check the box for parks to get funding, you have to intentionally check the box for your tax money to NOT go to the parks. This is based on the Montana State model which works.

    Anyways, we have the cards here at the shop and we'll pay the postage to send it in if you fill it out.

    Kopachuck is a great beach access park, especially for kids! If they closed the gate out at the road a lot of families would be missing out. So many people are unaware of what is going on, we really need everyone's voice on this, and not just on forums, please sign the available petitions. Thanks!
     
  14. You would think that Parks would be an even bigger priority for the people of this State during an economic downturn. Many people won't be able to afford expensive vacations, weekend getaways, or entertainment. Visiting a park would be a great low-cost alternative. On warm weekend days in the summer, our local parks are so jam-packed with people that Rangers and Police have to turn people away. What the heck is going to happen if the gates to Flaming Geyser, Dash Point, Saltwater, etc... are closed?

    We need to change our priorities to put quality of life above the amount of money and material stuff we have. It's easy to blame the politicians, but they end up doing what we say in the long run. Unfortunately, our State has always attracted people who want to make a fast buck from our boom-and-bust economy. It started with resource depletion activities like the Alaskan Gold Rush, commercial fishing, and timber industries, and now takes the form of cyclical industries like airplanes and high tech. We do stupid things to support short-term jobs growth. Examples are damming the Elwah River to provide power for the Pulp Mill in Port Angeles, logging and mining the Deer Creek watershed, and now shutting down most of our Parks to save $5.

    We need to start thinking about things like this differently. And we need to get angry....

    Just spouting off....

    Tom
     
  15. Gary, I think you hit the nail right on the head. On of my favorite quotes is " The people should not fear there government, but here government should fear the people". Meaning they work for us. So sad to see the "system" taking on such a "untouchable" status. That said I put my 5 on it and would put 5 for the guy next to me.
     
  16. Yep blame the right-wing. Huh? Lets see the state has been on the left like forever. Seems like just recently the states left-wing governor was saying during her campaign "We don't have a budget problem". Yep it's the rights fault. Give me a F'ing break. Get off the blame game and try to work on the actual problem instead.
     
  17. Kim,
    This is not a good situation for anybody, and I'm pretty sure we could swab the blame around on just about everyone in Olympia.
    Yet, it seems like many of the people who have contributed to this thread are discussing possible solutions.
    I would happpily embrace a good solution from Republicans, Democrats or the kids at the local elementary school.
    Right now, the only possible way to keep parks open is to pay that $5 fee at vehicle registration time -- or donate some money to parks. I'm writing about both of those options in my Tuesday column in the Olympian and my own blog.
    I just don't want to see our parks fall apart. Here in South Sound, they're the main access for Puget Sound beach fishing. But I use state parks all the time -- when I'm surfing, clamming and fishing at the coast, fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River or catching a mess of bluegills at Millersylvania State Park.
     
  18. It makes no sense to close the parks that are near the urban areas. Let's hope the priority list gets a close look at. I would rather see some money cut from roads than from parks. If you have driven around the country, I think you would agree Washington State has some of the "best" roads. I think we could sacrifice a few "repave" jobs for a couple of years, and push the money towards keeping the parks open. Maybe AIG has a few extra bucks floating around also! :D
     
  19. Great topic Chester to get the board thinking and agitated all at the same time! As a state employee I know times are very lean with $$$$....but the parks belong to us all and we should not be denied access to them. That being said, the parks and public safety I would gladly pay a tax for, if I knew it went there and not the general fund.
     
  20. This state is getting $225 million on stimulus funds from Obama et al...

    Most will go to the military to monitor power usage, build docks, improve water distribution systems and build training facilities. Amtrack, which should be self funded but never has been, will get $35 million and Public housing will get $40 million.

    It seems to me there should be a few million somewhare to keep the parks open, save the jobs there and provide continued low cost enjoyment for local residents who are not going to be traveling as much on vacations and days off.

    Oh, I forget... there are more votes available in the military, train transportation and low income housing than there are in a few picknickers and fishermen.
     

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