Reading this ticked me off, because this is such a round about passive aggressive way to keep our state parks open. In essence we all need to check the $5 donation box when we register our cars or Gregoire may have to close or sell some of our state parks. Of course most of us (including me) will voluntarily pay this to prevent lost access to the state parks, but this is a spineless outrage. Our "leaders" in Washington who had plenty of conviction when it came to increasing state spending by over 30% over the past 4 years, now are leaving the jewels of our state in limbo so that we are forced to voluntarily tax ourselves. Whatever happened to leadership and prioritization, or just following the will of the voters? I'm posting this here since many of us fish the beaches of our various saltwater state parks, and their closure or sale would be bad news indeed. Gregoire approves $5 fee to pay for state parks By The Associated Press OLYMPIA — Yearly car registration fees will increase by $5, starting in September, under a measure signed into law Friday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, who hopes the new law will help keep struggling state parks open. Vehicle owners can opt out of paying the fee, and the measure requires the state Department of Licensing to ensure that the opt-out choice is prominently displayed and clearly visible on both paper and online renewals. Some state parks were facing possible closure in the recent legislative session as lawmakers grappled with a $9 billion budget deficit through mid-2011. Gregoire said the car-tab fee could help avoid park closures. But it doesn't guarantee that state parks won't be sold or closed. The governor said she thinks people now realize that the parks are at risk and will want to do something about it. "I'm really quite hopeful that now that they see the parks are vulnerable ... that people will not opt out," she said. The new law adds the $5 parks fee to all vehicle registrations. All the money collected must go to operation and maintenance of state parks, but the fee can't be charged if a car owner opts out of paying. State residents currently can make a $5 donation to support parks by checking an opt-in box on their vehicle license forms.